Paul McCartney buys a house in Cavendish Avenue, London

Tuesday, April 13, 1965
Timeline More from year 1965
7 Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood, London, UK

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On this day, Paul McCartney bought a house at 7 Cavendish Avenue in St John’s Wood, London. After renovation, he moved into it in June 1966.

From The Beatles Bible:

The three-storey Regency townhouse was purchased from a physician named Desmond O’Neill for £40,000. A short walk to EMI Studios on Abbey Road, it often functioned as a base for the group for meetings before or after they were recording.

McCartney moved in in March 1966, after he had made renovations and installed a sizeable gate and intercom system to ensure his privacy. The location was swiftly discovered by Beatles fans, however, several of whom kept a vigil at all hours and on occasion found their way inside.

Do I know anything about property? Not really. Well, I suppose I do, come to think of it. I’m just being vague. But don’t think I’m a big property tycoon. I only buy places I like. I haven’t got anything abroad.

Paul McCartney – From interview with New Musical Express, June 24, 1966

Too old to still be living in the guest room at the Ashers’, Paul bought his first house. Distinctly unlike the other Beatles, Paul bought an urban house, on Cavendish Avenue in London’s smart St. John’s Wood. It was a square white Georgian minimanse, protected from the street by high brick walls and electronic gates. The old house had three baths, two guest bedrooms and separate quarters for the couple who came to take care of Paul and Jane’s needs. Instead of turning the decoration over to professionals, they decided to furnish it themselves. They took pleasure in shopping for each piece individually, sometimes buying used furniture at secondhand shops and refinishing it themselves. Paul was proud to point out that the Victorian clock on the mantel cost only £7, and the sofa and armchairs, which he had reupholstered in a bottle green velvet, cost only £20 together. Of course, there was also a gleaming bronze Paolozzi sculpture called “Solo” worth many thousands of pounds and an 1851 clock and a collection of Tiffany glass that were priceless. The floors were covered in deep-pile carpets in sedate tones of brown and gray, and Paul’s bedroom, which faced the front courtyard, had a king-size bed covered in Porthault linens, which were changed almost daily by his loyal housekeeper, Rose. Paul also had a closet built that ran the width of the twenty-two-foot room, which he stocked with the latest fashions from King’s Road and the top tailors. In the master bath, completely tiled in imported blue and white mosaics, he had built a sunken tub big enough for two.

Peter Brown – From “The Love You Make“, 2002

Other Beatle domiciles had received top-to-bottom makeovers by fashionable interior decorators, with little or no consultation of their owners. But for 7 Cavendish Avenue – henceforward known by him simply as ‘Cavendish’, just as 20 Forthlin Road was ‘Forthlin’ – Paul hired the relatively unknown husband-and-wife architectural team of John and Marina Adams. Marina was John Dunbar’s older sister, and John Adams had designed Peter Asher’s wood-panelled bedroom-cum-studio at Wimpole Street.

Paul’s brief to the Adamses was the strangest they’d ever received, or ever would again; he said he wanted the kind of house where a smell of cabbage floated up from the basement. It clearly was his most elemental idea of comfort and security, deriving as much from the Asher household as from his old home in Allerton.

From “Paul McCartney – The Life” by Philip Norman, 2016

Last updated on November 19, 2023

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