A little more than a week after they put their 26-room Georgian mansion Tittenhurst Park up for sale, John Lennon and Yoko Ono sold it to Lennon’s former bandmate Ringo Starr.
The couple had bought Tittenhurst Park, in Ascot in the English county of Berkshire, on 4 May 1969 for £145,000, and moved into it on 11 August later that year. It was considerably renovated before their arrival, including the creation of an artificial lake which they could see from their bedroom window.
The Beatles’ final photographic session took place at Tittenhurst Park on 22 August 1969. The images were used on the cover of the Hey Jude compilation early the following year.
A recording studio, known as Ascot Sound Studios or ASS, was installed at Tittenhurst in 1970. Lennon’s Imagine album and Ono’s Fly were both recorded there. The sessions were filmed, and footage was later released in the documentary Gimme Some Truth: The Making Of John Lennon’s Imagine.
Lennon and Ono moved to the United States in August 1971, and Lennon never returned to England. Speaking on the telephone from New York, on 10 September 1973 he instructed an Ascot estate agent to put the mansion on the housing market.
Starr renamed the recording facilities Startling Studios. He made it available to other musicians – including T.Rex, who filmed Born To Boogie there. Starr sold Tittenhurst in 1988 for £5 million to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Also on this day...
- 1969: Paul McCartney performs on Badfinger’s Rock Of All Ages
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Birthday
- 1968: George Harrison is interviewed for New Musical Express and BBC
- 1967: Filming: Magical Mystery Tour
- 1966: John Lennon travels to Carboneras, Spain
- 1964: Live: Memorial Auditorium, Dallas
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.