Kinfauns

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Kinfauns
Kinfauns George Harrison house.jpg
View of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd's former home Kinfauns
General information
Architectural style Bungalow
Address Kinfauns /(or) 16, Claremont Drive, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9LU
Town or city Esher, Surrey
Country England

Kinfauns was a large 1950s deluxe bungalow in Esher, Surrey, England, on the Claremont Estate. From 1964 to 1970 it was the home of George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles, and was where many of the demo recordings for the White Album were made. The bungalow has since been demolished, and a house built in its place.

Purchase by Harrison

Harrison bought Kinfauns for £20,000 (equivalent to £370,000 in 2016) on 17 July 1964, on the advice of Dr. Walter Strach, the Beatles' accountant. Going house-shopping, Harrison said later, "It was the first one I saw, and I thought, that'll do." He was joined there months later by wife-to-be Pattie Boyd. Harrison and Boyd were married on 21 January 1966, and lived in the house until 1970, when Harrison purchased Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

Renovation

During 1967, Harrison and Boyd, with the help of friends, painted the outside of the house in psychedelic patterns; a mural around the fireplace was created by design collective the Fool, who also painted several Beatles musical instruments and Harrison's Mini. At the rear of the house was a guitar shaped swimming pool. Gold discs and the multiple awards the band had achieved adorned the sitting room walls. In front, a tall 15-foot (4.6 m) sliding door kept unauthorised visitors out of the garden — rapidly covered in fans' signatures and autographs.

Beatles gatherings

Kinfauns was probably the home the Beatles gathered at most, as it was only a short drive from the homes of John Lennon (Kenwood) and Ringo Starr (Sunny Heights — both on St George's Hill). It was where Harrison, Lennon and their wives retreated during their first LSD experience in 1965, and in May 1968 it was where many of the demo recordings for the White Album were made, on Harrison's Ampex four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder. (These demos have been released on various bootleg albums; seven of them also appear on The Beatles Anthology, Vol. 3.)

Harrison was the first Beatle to own or use a Moog synthesizer, and he recorded "Under the Mersey Wall" with his Moog at Kinfauns. The track filled one side of his Electronic Sound album, released in May 1969.

Kinfauns was where police arrested Boyd and Harrison in March 1969, for hashish possession, as Lennon and Yoko Ono had been months earlier while staying at Ringo Starr's Montagu Square apartment. Both couples insisted the drugs found had been planted on the premises.

Sale and demolition

After moving to Friar Park, Harrison sold Kinfauns; both houses were listed as assets of the Beatles' company Apple Corps. It was later home of songwriters Barry and Sylvan Mason (née Whittingham) who composed hits such as "Delilah" for Tom Jones, "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" (Edison Lighthouse, 1970) and "We Don't Belong" (Sylvan, 1965). The site of Kinfauns lies within the historic garden walls of the adjacent Claremont, a 19th-century royal residence. Following a series of planning applications in the early 21st century the bungalow was substantially demolished and replaced with a new two-storey house.

Coordinates: 51°21′35″N 0°22′07″W / 51.359595°N 0.368476°W / 51.359595; -0.368476

Sources

  • Boyd, Pattie (2007). Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-40783-2. 

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