John & Yoko’s Dream Home – Tittenhurst Park

By Madeline Bocaro ©

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© Madeline Bocaro, 2018. No part of this site may be reproduced or reblogged in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.

This is an excerpt from my book:

In Your Mind – The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

An all-embracing look at Yoko’s life and work in stunning detail.

Read all about the book, see the reviews and

Order here:


JOHN AND YOKO’S DREAM HOME, Tittenhurst Park housed Ascot Studios which John had constructed to record his album and film, Imagine. The gorgeous white house and sprawling property is an idyllic backdrop for the film, lending a Camelot like atmosphere (although some of movie was also shot in New York City). The Beatles’ final photo session was taken on the grounds.


The estate was located in Ascot, about 50 miles from Abbey Road studios. On May 4, 1969 John and Yoko purchased the Georgian style house built in 1737 on 72 acres for £145,000. They moved in on August 11, 1969 with an entourage of assistants. A Krishna swami and his devotees introduced to the Lennons by George Harrison soon occupied the temple on the property.

John and Yoko made lots of renovations (walls were knocked down to make bigger rooms, all painted white). Construction continued up until the time they moved out. Yoko baffled the gardener by asking him to plant only black and white flowers on the property.

Tittenhurst, which was once a tree museum, has magnificent gardens with trees imported from different countries (as Yoko later achieved with the Strawberry Fields memorial for John New York City’s Central Park). John and Yoko were photographed by their friend and assistant Dan Richter beneath a huge oak tree at Tittenhurst for the covers of their solo albums John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band and Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band in 1970. The gardens included one of the tallest cedar trees in England. John and Yoko installed a man-made lake, creating a small island on which they placed a little white bungalow. An unexploded WWII bomb was found when digging to create the lake.

The large residence and all the buildings surrounding it including a temple were pure white. Yoko laid white carpeting throughout the house. Huge windows and white walls bathed the rooms in sunlight. It was the perfect place for John and Yoko to live, yet they spent only a short time there.

“John and I thought we would make Ascot our home and live there for many many years to come. Otherwise, why did we plonk a huge lake in the garden and plant feeble-looking plum and cherry saplings around the lake which promised to become trees in twenty years’ time?

– Yoko, imagine john yoko 2018

When they left in 1971 for New York, John was never to return to England again.

I know I’m insane, but I was so happy to see actual film of the donkeys at Tittenhurst in the 2018 John and Yoko documentary Above Us Only Sky. (See photos below).

I love the quote about the animals from Scott Cardinal’s book series about Tittenhurst – Volume 2, from one of the Krishnas staying there…

“I arrived at an enclosed isolated pasture where the “Apple mule” munched peacefully… The mule reminded me of Eyore, Winnie the Pooh‘s friend. I was staring at the mule he was staring at me – as I was chanting, he was listening.”

(The two animals were supposedly dropped off anonymously at Apple Records office and adopted by John & Yoko).

When John and Yoko moved to New York City permanently in the summer of 1971, they sold the property to Ringo Starr who enjoyed it for several years.  In 1988 Ringo sold Tittenhurst Park for £5 million to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Ascot Sound Studios, where Imagine was recorded was renamed Startling Studios by Ringo and was rented by many bands including T. Rex, Def Leppard and Judas Priest.

The band Squeeze shot their video for the song ‘Up The Junction’ in the kitchen and ‘Cool For Cats’ was shot in the temple on the premises at Tittenhurst Park.

Def Leppard recorded their first album at Startling studios in 1979. The cover art for their 2008 album Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (resembling the RINGO album cover) features someone in the crowd holding up a ‘This Is Not Here’ sign, like the etched glass window above the door of Tittenhurst Park. Joe Elliott (singer) had been unaware – until I told him – that ‘This Is Not Here’ was a concept art piece by Yoko, and also the title of her retrospective exhibition at Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY. It ran from October 9 (John Lennon’s 31st birthday) through October 21, 1971 featuring works by Yoko, John and several of their friends. The Everson show was a major Fluxus related event and a semi-retrospective of Yoko’s career.

In the early 1960s Tittenhurst Park was owned by Peter Cadbury, a business tycoon (once a test pilot). He cultivated the grounds to make a tree museum which he opened to the public for charity. The gardens had taken 300 years to plan and to plant. The multitudes of rare trees and flowers included Chinese palms, Nevada redwoods, cedars of Lebanon, weeping cherry trees from Japan, rare camelias, 30 varieties of magnolias, catalpas with monkey puzzle trees, copper oaks, beeches and cypruses.

Watch an old Pathe video of the grounds:

Peter Cadbury Tree Museum Aka Tycoon At Home, AKA Peter Cadbury At Home, AKA Tree Museum (1963)

A British Pathe film:

The big white house surrounded by immaculate gardens – the home of a 300-year old ‘tree museum’ full of examples of rare plants and trees.  Peter Cadbury, owner of the house and gardens, drives a tractor across a lawn, in the background is small wooden cottage. A topiary arch over the beautifully landscaped garden – Peter opens the gardens to the public to raise money for charities.

Tittenhurst Park – The Transformation

The new decor @ Tittenhurst (circa 1989) is Sheik, not chic!!

Picture yourself descending the famous staircase where beautiful Yoko with her gloved hands, elegantly held her cigarette in its long holder while walking downstairs in the Imagine film (at the start of ‘Mrs. Lennon’). Look to your left and see framed photographs of camels and sheiks on the wall (replacing Yoko’s three Hammer a Nail In paintings). Look to your right and see ornate Ming vases.

Stroll through the once pristine sprawling white house and you will be stunned by the heavy burden of patterned curtains blocking the gorgeous windows of the great white room. Once bright and sunny, it is now devoid of light. The wall which John and Yoko had removed to make the room larger now partitions it once again. Behold the space where the white piano stood – it is virtually unrecognizable. Framed paintings of Arab Sheiks adorn the walls. A busily patterned rug replaces the pure white carpet. Look around and marvel at statues made of gold. Look up and see gigantic chandeliers. This hodgepodge of design must be due to the varied tastes of the Sheik’s 12 wives!! It seems that they could not agree at all! But they have toothbrushes made of gold! And they only spend four weeks a year at Tittenhurst.

A judge deemed some of their alterations as vandalism and imposed a monetary penalty!

© Madeline Bocaro 2018. No part of this text may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, reblogged or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent. Reproduction in any form without permission is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the written permission of Madeline Bocaro. is a non-profit blog created for educational and research purposes.
Any content that may violate copyright or free usage laws will be removed immediately upon request.


This story is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography

In Your Mind – The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

by Madeline Bocaro

An all-embracing look at Yoko Ono’s life, music and art – in stunning detail.

Read all about it, see the reviews and

Order here:



Also See:

The Dreamers


Imagine – The Restoration 2018

(My film review)




Lennon and Yoko Ono in the Imagine video








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Sold. May, 2020:









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This story is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography

In Your Mind – The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

by Madeline Bocaro

An all-embracing look at Yoko Ono’s life, music and art – in stunning detail.


Read all about the book, see the reviews and

Order here:

Hard Cover books are ONLY available HERE..


27 thoughts on “John & Yoko’s Dream Home – Tittenhurst Park

  1. This is absolutely incredible! I thought I knew everything there was to know about John and Yoko’s time at Tittenhurst – and I was wrong. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Good Job and enjoyed the show but would love to visit that place in person if i could

  2. Hi Madeline . I live in Sunningdale and I am a 15 minute walk from Tittenhurst Park .I have a little story in September 1969 John and Yoko George and Pattie went to an antique shop in Ascot high street called the old clock house ,my sister worked there she showed them round the very large shop knowing I was a beatles fan she phoned my school to ask if she could pick me up to meet them , the school replied yes if he was here I often would skip school which my family did not know about .so I missed my chance to meet them but she did get their autographs , Enjoyed your blog .Phil C.

  3. Interesting stuff, Madeline! That Peter Cadbury film is amazing! I lived in Ascot from 1973 to 1982. I became a Beatles fan in 1976, and slowly became aware that I lived in close proximity to both Tittenhurst Park and Friar Park, the latter being about 30 minutes drive away. I used to cycle up to the gates of Tittenhust Park from time to time. They were rarely open, but Ringo drove passed in a Porsche one time, in about 1981 I think. I also saw George in a baby blue Rolls Royce in Reading, in 1979. He had his King Charles II hair do!

    The closest link was that I had a school friend called Timothy Patterson, who lived in a house nearby, round the back of the Tittenhurst estate on a country lane. Tim was also friends with Zak Starkey, who was our age. He had been taught the rudiments of how to play the drums by Keith Moon, who also lived there for a time. Zak had a 15th birthday party in an outbuilding called The Stables, and one of his first bands, called Satellite, played. I never got to go for some reason, but Tim did, and told me about it at school the next day!

  4. Hi Madeline,your site is very interesting.I am from the great city of Liverpool were it all began,I have been a huge Beatles fan all my life & remember waking up as a kid to the imagine song & video playing constantly on the tv & realising it was because of the horrendous news that the most famous man in the world & one of our own John Lennon has been murdered.Since that day the image of titenhurst park stayed with me & I always wanted to visit it.Last week me & my wife made the journey from Liverpool to the house,I was very exited to see it,(well the gates anyway),but as I approached I was told by the uk security guards that look after the place that I would not be allowed to take any photos of the gates ect,because the current Arab owners are in residence & are guarded by Moroccan army members & if I approached the gates or tried to take photos I would be stopped by thease Moroccan guards whose methods are not the same as the English security guards.Anyway I had come along way to see Johns house & was not going to be told I couldn’t take a couple of photos,so I said those Moroccan guards have no jurisdiction in the uk,this was not an embassy or official residence & I was on the public highway,I am perfectly allowed to approach the gates of Buckingham palace were the queen of England lives & take as many photos as I like.So although the experience really upset us both I still took some photos whilst standing on the public highway.My friend owns a flying school so I might ask him to fly me over the house next time.Please send me anymore photos of the house you have. We have thousands of tourists here every year to view the Beatles houses & sites ect & everyone in Liverpool makes them feel welcome & will have a friendly chat with them & tell them what they know.Shame it’s not like that in Berkshire.

    1. Hi Steven,
      Thanks for your nice words about my blog. How cool that you visited Tittenhurst. Even more amazing that you stood up to the guards and protested their photography ban. I hope you got some good ones. Could you see the house from where you were standing? It is so sad that it is now owned by people ‘outside of the family’. It was nice when Ringo owned it and the recording studio was still up and running for other artists. I would like to see your photos – and others that you may take if you ever get that fly-over experience!
      I hope you will enjoy some of my other John/Yoko stories on my blog.
      All the best,

  5. Loved this article. I’m originally from Australia but moved to Ascot a number of years ago. I’m a Beatles fan and knew that it was once the property of John Lennon. In the local Ascot Facebook page there are some lovely stories of people that grew up here and their encounters with various Beatles. Recently someone posted that their dad was a painter and decorator and painted the inside of the house white for John. There was also another story of a boy coming home from school and upon seeing George Harrison sitting on a bench on the high street, sat and spoke with him.. what a brilliant experience.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Glen. So happy you enjoyed my story. I appreciate the stories you shared. I suppose you can’t see the house at all, even though you live nearby. I wish you a very happy life in Ascot. I hope you can feel the vibes of John & Yoko! All the best, Madeline

  6. Scottish-Canadian musician Lawrence Gowan (now a member of Styx) recorded his second studio album Strange Animal (released in 1985) at Tittenhurst Park. The album features Peter Gabriel’s rhythm section of bassist Tony Levin and drummer Jerry Marotta. Lawrence has mentioned in interviews of meeting Ringo Starr at the house as well.

  7. Very Interesting, When it was Startling Studios, Roger Chapman and his band recorded & stayed there. I went and stayed there for a couple of days. The recording studio was on the ground floor and one day i remember walking down to the lake and on the way turning one line of trees and being shocked to see a giant Dinosaur in the distance, I walked up to it it was at least 50ft high, could have been much larger. It was I think made of fibreglass, there was also another largish fibreglass animal, a Rhino I think (well it was a long time age) about 10ft high.
    It was a magical place, just for having seen bits of it on TV from when John & Yoko lived there. Especially the white room with Yoko by the side, and John Lennon singing and playing at the white grand piano with the bayed windows behind. Apart from piano, the room looked the same, and you could just wonder around it and imagine John & Yoko there, Pure magic and something I will never forget. p.s What ever happened to the giant Dinosaur? Malcolm

    1. I don’t think the fiberglass dinosaur and rhino were there during the time of John and Yoko. I have no idea what happened to them.
      Thanks for your interesting comments. Cool cool that you got to experience the place in person!

  8. Hi Madeline, thanks for this very interesting article re: Tittinghurst Park. One point I can categorically confirm because I was there working on the Squeeze video shoot, is that it was shot in the Chapel and not the kitchen. In the video you can see the pipe organ in the back of shot. I was there for three days and the kitchen was catering base for the band and crew. The life size dinosaur was also there and I was told it was a birthday present to John Lennon from Keith Moon who’d had it delivered in the dead of night and placed on the lawn. Best regards.

  9. Is the man made lake still at Tittenhurst park and island in middle which was in film they made. Thank you Madeline. Jason

  10. Dear Madeline.
    I have read all the articles in this blog and I am so excited to know that so many people around the world are so fond of Tittenhurst, the big, big house with an immense garden in front of my former house in Sunningdale.
    I lived in Sunningdale between 1968 to 1971 across the Kiln Lane which is a path that crosses one end of Sunningdale to another end of Sunningdale and it used to border all of John Lennon’s estate, but now it doesn’t because some years ago a plot of land was sold by John for 1 pound to the Council which was used to create the Sunningdale Cemetery, where another of our former famous neighbours is buried, the late Diana Dors.
    My family travelled from Venezuela to Sunningdale because my father was studying his Ph. D in Imperial College Silwood Field Station nowadays called Silwood Park, diagonal to Tittenhurst. I was 8 years old then and everybody in Sunningdale talked about John and Yoko the famous neighbours from The Beatles which I had no idea who they where, as in Venezuela Henry Stephen and his song Limon Limonero and Cherry Navaro and his song Aleluya where the most famous artist in that time. I was informed by Timothy Morley my next door neighbour of who John, Yoko and The Beatles were and of that rare game played with the feet called Football which I had no idea either as we in Venezuela played Baseball.
    Every kid boy or girl in Dale Close, Dale Lodge and High Street which are the nearest streets to The Kiln Lane played on Tittenhurst garden, a huge and very well cared field with lots of trees, specially cedar and pine trees and magnolias of different colours. We played to the far left front side of the house, we had to climb over a wooden fence which was a bit hard to surpass but once in Tittenhurst, the joy was immense to have such a great field to play, the limit we were not allowed to pass were 3 huge semi spheres of blackberry plants, if you went beyond these blackberry plants a helicopter would fly over and by speakers told us to leave the premises otherwise they would send angry dogs as us. Sometimes we passed the blackberry plants and when we heard the helicopter, we rushed to the forest Tittenhurst had and hide under the trees.
    John Lennon was a bit bitter person, Yoko was always silent, hardly talked, Julian was vibrant, and full of energy, the guards where rude people with rude manners and their German Sheppard dogs where very frightful but if you didn’t go too near the house you wouldn’t be bothered and we would be allowed to play without complains.
    John and Yoko used a white Rolls Royce with very dark windows, but also a coral colour (not pink, not orange but both colours at the same time) Rolls Royce and a white Mercedes Benz limousine would leave and enter the main entrance at London Road. Somebody famous who was a very nice person and talked to you and waved back to you and we saw him daily on our way to school was George Harrison in his grey Mercedes Benz limousine, he had no chauffer, and he drove his car all the time. I used to see George pumping petrol in his limousine in the little petrol station next to Holy Trinity Church in Sunningdale; I guess he preferred that petrol station because he wouldn’t be bothered by fans. I Julian use to come and be picked up in an immense American limousine, it was such a long car with so much space for a 7 year old boy he was back then.
    And to finish, once my friend Timothy Morley and I were returning home from school and next to the grocery store where five guys smoking, Timothy and I were singing the last Top of the Pops hit the “Yellow river” when one of these guys asked us which was our favourite pop group, we shouted “The Beatles” and the guy asked us why, that there were other famous groups like The Rolling Stones and The Bee Gees to which I responded “Yes, you have The Rolling Stones and The Bee Gees, but both of these groups as The Marmalades have 5 people playing in the band while The Beatles have only four”. The guy nod his head and said something to his friends, we continued home singing Yellow river. On the following Top of the Pops show, the guys who were smoking and who asked us who our favourite group was, they were playing, they were The Bee Gees. Other famous people who lived in Sunningdale were the famous Ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and the famous writer Agatha Christie.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment Pedro! How amazing that you grew up near the paradise of Tittenhurst! I really enjoyed all the details you shared. I hope you read my new book about Yoko. I know that you would thoroughly enjoy it!!!

      In Your Mind – The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono
      by Madeline Bocaro
      A complete look at Yoko Ono’s life, art, films and music, in astounding detail.
      This book is for anyone who is a fan of John Lennon (or the Beatles) who would like to know more about the extraordinary woman whom he loved.
      Includes her eternal partnership with Lennon, their incredible love story and all the work they did together.
      558 pages
      Reviews and More info:

    2. Pedro, I was also living near to Tittenhurst Park at that time. Our school was Sunningdale Holy Trinity C of E and yes there was a lot of talk about the famous Beatle living behind those houses. I remember stories of 4×4 buggies being driven around the grounds but I did not see them myself. These memories seem very special to you and I hope you have kept in contact with your friend Timothy Morley and also that he has ready your post.

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