Tittenhurst Park

This Tittenhurst Park blog is dedicated to John Lennon's home in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire between 1969 and 1971. The aim is to gather as much material relating to the estate as possible - obviously with the emphasis on the Lennon-era, but also concerning Tittenhurst Park as it was before and after John Lennon's ownership. In addition, there will be posts about and associated with the Beatles, plus any other rubbish I feel like. The blog is purely meant for the entertainment of anyone (assuming there is actually anyone) who, like me, has an unhealthy interest in one particular Georgian mansion. Those with anything interesting to contribute in the way of links, photos, scans, stories etc. please do contact me: tittenhurstlennon@gmail.com
(Legal: this blog is strictly non-commercial. All material is the property of the photographer/artist/copyright holder concerned. Any such who wishes a picture etc to be removed should contact me and I will do so. Alternatively, if someone is happy to see their photo on here, but would like a credit/link then let me know and I'll be happy to provide one).



John Lennon spent long summer holidays at Durness in Sutherland - between the years when he was aged 9 to 14. He even returned in adult life with his wife Yoko Ono. The area had such an impact on the ex-Beatle that it is said it was part of the inspiration for the seminal song, In My Life.Lennon and his first cousin, Stanley Parkes, used to stay at the family croft at 56 Sangomore at Sango Bay. "John never forgot those times at Durness. They were among his happiest memories. He loved the wilderness," said Mr Parkes. "John was nine when he started coming up with my family to the croft in Durness. The croft belonged to my stepfather, Robert Sutherland, and John just loved the wildness and the openness of the place. We went fishing and hunting and John loved going up into the hills to draw or write poetry. John really loved hill walking, shooting and fishing. He used to catch salmon. He would have been quite a laird. In the last letter to me before he was killed he quoted a famous Scottish saying that says 'It's a braw, bricht moonlicht nicht since I last had a word'".John returned to Durness with Yoko Ono and their respective children, Julian and Kyoko, in 1969. But the holiday was marked by a bad car accident by Loch Eriboll. John had notoriously poor eyesight, rarely drove himself and crashed on one of the narrow northern roads. He received 17 stitches for facial injuries and Yoko had 14 in her forehead.The accident and five-day stay at the Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie, Sutherland, was reported at the time. On his return to London John told reporters: "If you're going to have a car crash, try to arrange for it to happen in the Highlands. The hospital there was just great."Mr Parkes remembered: "Yoko had the car, a white British Leyland Maxi, shipped to their home in Ascot, England, and mounted in the garden on a concrete plinth as she considered it 'a happening!'

A memorial commemorating Lennon's links with Durness was unveiled in 2002 by Mr Parkes. "I am delighted that John's life and times in Durness are being highlighted. I hope many tourists will visit the area that meant so much to him and enjoy its beauty and charms as he once did," said Mr Parkes. A novel, The Next Big Thing, about Lennon's links with Durness was published on 14th February 2007 by Balnakeil Press, which is based in Loch Croispol Bookshop in Durness. And author, former Shadow Scottish Culture Minister Michael Russell commented "Durness had a major impact on John Lennon. It really was where he was often happiest in an, at times, unhappy childhood," he said. "It is really a little known story even today. During my research it was quite clear John connected hugely with the area which helped shape him over the period when he grew from a boy into a teenager."
Here's a link to the Durness Community Website.

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