Paul McCartney buys High Park Farm in Kintyre, Scotland

Friday, June 17, 1966
Timeline More from year 1966
Location:
High Park Farm, Kintyre, Scotland

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About

Paul McCartney’s financial advisors suggested he invest in property. In April 1965, he bought a house in Cavendish Avenue, London. After renovation, he moved into it in June 1966.

On this day, he acquired High Park Farm, near Campbelltown, in the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland. The three-bedroom farmhouse had an asking price of £35,000, and came with 183 acres of land. High Park Farm was previously owned by Mr. Charles Noel Beattie, a Q.C. in London, and leased to Mr. and Mrs. Brown, local farmers who had lived there for 19 years.

Paul’s girlfriend, the actress Jane Asher, helped him select High Park from a list of properties for sale, and visited it with him. The farm was in a largely dilapidated state. Renovations didn’t begin until Paul married Linda Eastman in 1969.

In January 1970, Paul bought the nearby Low Park Farm to discourage sightseers from visiting the area. He acquired an additional 400 acres of land nearby in January 1971.


This is the most peaceful spot I’ve ever come across in the world

Paul McCartney – From New Musical Express – June 1, 1968

PM.com: Scotland is quite far away from Liverpool and London, where your life had mostly been based up until that point. How did you come across the farm? And what was the inspiration going there?

Paul: I was always drawn to the romantic notion of the Highlands. And John was too, he had visited relatives who had a croft in the Highlands, and he spoke romantically of it, so I had that thought in my head. But I never really intended to do much with that thought. Then when we started to earn a little bit of money, there was an accountant who said, ‘You should use the money for something – you should buy something with it’. Whereas we’d always thought you just stick it the bank. He said, ‘No, you’ve got to invest it, you got to do something’. So, I said OK, and he came up with this property that was for sale in Argyle near Campbeltown. He said it would be a great investment. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go up – I’d just got down to London from Liverpool, I wasn’t sure I want to go off to Scotland! Anyway, I was persuaded, and I went up there and thought it was okay, but I never thought of it as romantic until I met Linda. She said, ‘Could we go up there?’ And then with Linda, and with raising the family there, I saw things I’d never seen before in the countryside and scenery. It became really special.

Paul McCartney – From You Gave Me The Answer – Life on the Farm in Scotland | PaulMcCartney.com, November 30, 2021

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

Aye the noo. It’s just a wee small place, up there at the tip of Scotland, and aye plarrn tae make the occasional trip therre for a wee spell of solitude. It’s not bad though, 200 acres and a farmhouse as well. I can’t tell you how much it was, but it was well worth the money as far as I’m concerned.

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

It’s desolate. Very desolate. It’s 200 acres in a valley and 30 miles from Ireland. It’s in Scotland, but I mean it’s just off the coast of Ireland, it’s nice. It’s cold, very cold in winter and gets lots of snow. Anyway, I didn’t really pick Scotland, it’s just that I wanted a farm and I said to my accountant, ‘What’s happening with my money,’ and he said, ‘Well, the best thing you can do is buy a house.’ I mean, he’s thinking about the safety of the money because if you put it in other things, it sort of goes. I told him I’d like it with a bit of land and would he look out for me. And he found this farm in Scotland, which was cheap. It’s nice and quiet. What I’m going to do is let the trees grow on it, because it’s very desolate at the moment, and build a small house on it and go there for a couple of months in the year.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

Jane also encouraged him to find a hideaway from the world, a place for just the two of them, without autograph-seeking fans or the constant ring of the telephone. Paul purchased High Park, an isolated but beautiful farm in the boggy moors of Scotland. High Park was a very simple place, just an old wooden farmhouse and some barns, surrounded by miles of open fields. No outsiders, not even other Beatles, were invited up for a visit. Paul, it should be noted, was the first Beatle to show any distance or privacy from the others. One rare visitor to High Park was Alistair Taylor, the loyal office manager and general fixer at NEMS. Paul summoned Alistair to High Park so that he could pay a visit to the local pharmacy for him. According to Alistair, Paul had the crabs and needed a pesticide to shampoo with. Being Paul McCartney, the neighborhood celebrity, Paul was too embarrassed to ask the pharmacist in the small town for the pesticide himself, so he sent Alistair. There was also a sense of urgency to this mission, lest Paul give the tiny parasites to Jane, who would most certainly realize he had been unfaithful to her. The town pharmacist was baffled by Alistair’s request. He had nothing for that purpose other than “sheep dip,” which was used to delouse cattle. Paul presumably made do with that.

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

No-one in the office knew that Paul had bought the farm. Then one day he came in and asked if I would go up for the weekend. I It had a clapped out old farmhouse that Paul wanted to knock down and wanted me to find a suitable spot to build a new one. So I went up and plodded around and realised the Scots aren’t stupid because the current location was the only place to build a farmhouse. It was windy even on a calm day. I took some photos and came back and told Paul it was the only place. Paul asked what it was like and after I showed him the photos he thought it was great and said let’s go up. So myself, Jane and Paul flew up. He said he wanted it to be spartan and asked me to organise some second hand furniture. We then built furniture ourselves, and found some potato boxes and asked me to go into town and buy some nails and things and we built a settee and some bedside cabinets.

We flew Martha up, and she was as good as gold. A car met us at the airport and we were driving along. Martha is an old English Sheep Dog, but had lived in London, never been in the country, and never seen a sheep. We turned up the lane to the farm and into a field of sheep, and Martha went spare. We had the window half open and she had her head half way out the window.

Alistair Taylor – From Alistair Taylor – The Beatles ‘Mr Fixit’ – Beatles in London, November 28, 2016

On August 18, 1966, during the last Beatles tour, Paul mentioned his new farm during a radio interview:

Paul explains that he bought a farm in Scotland because it was inexpensive and remote, and enthuses about the likelihood of being trapped there one day by a snowstorm. After vaguely describing the property, he admits he’s seen it only once, for the grand total of one hour! His priority is moving into the new house in London, but Paul feels by 1967 he’ll be able to begin staying at his farmhouse.

From “That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966-1970” by John C. Winn

Paul buys a farm on a Scottish hillside

Bachelor Beatle Paul McCartney has bought a hill farm on the remote mull of Kintyre in the West ot Scotland.

Paul and 19-years-old actress Jane Asher made a secret plane trip to the Kintyre holiday village of Machrihanish, airport for Campbelltown, on Wednesday afternoon, then took a taxi to High Park Farm, which is near The Lussa, a loch used by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board.

After inspecting the farm and before flying back to London, Paul and Jane had tea with the tenant, Mr. John Brown and his wife Jean. Farmer Brown said last night: “I recognised Mr. McCartney immediately. I did not know Miss Asher by sight, but he quickly introduced her. ‘This Is Jane.’ We showed them through the farmhouse and they said they were delighted with it. At least Mr McCartney seemed full of enthusiasm. Miss Asher did not say very much. She seemed to be rather quiet. But Mr. McCartney said that this was just the sort of place he always wanted to have, somewhere where he could get away from the crowds. He admitted to me as he walked over the grounds that he had no knowledge of farming although he wanted to keep it as a farm. I told him that it would be all right if he put a reliable man in and he seemed to agree. He seemed a very sensible sort of chap.

CATTLE AND SHEEP

Mr. Brown said the farm has 150 acres of hill land and 33 acres of arable land. There are 25 Ayrshire dairy cattle on it and 100 black-faced sheep. It is owned by Mr. Charles Noel Beattie, a Q.C. in London, who bought it some years ago from the Trustees of the late Duke of Argyll.

We have voluntarily agreed to leave in November,” said Mr. Brown. “We have been here for 19 years. I suppose Mr. McCartney will be taking over immediately we leave, and will no doubt put someone in to run the farm, but I think he wants to come down here as often as possible. I don’t think he looks on it just as a holiday home but rather as a farm.

Mrs. Brown said that she had a warning that Mr. McCartney and Miss Asher were coming to the farm, so she was not surprised when they arrived. “They were very nice and stayed to have a bite of bacon and eggs,” she said.

From Liverpool Echo – June 17, 1966
From Liverpool Echo – June 17, 1966

From The McCartney Legacy on X (twitter.com) – From Registers of Scotland, confirmation of Paul’s acquisition of High Park Farm, Campbeltown, formalised in November 1966. The price documented: £4,000. Whether this was erroneously noted is unknown, but it’s there in black and white. Just in case you were wondering folks.

Last updated on December 9, 2023

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Sidney 1 year ago

a wee poop on the road eh?


Elaine A Coombes 1 year ago

Loved article on Paul McCartney inScotland. Did not realise the input of Jane Asher.
Best bit of Mull of Kintyre song are the pipers walking along the sand!


Andrew 1 year ago

The farmers were John and Janet Brown.
Janet's nephew told me a funny story about fans wanting the oose from the couch where McCartney sat, when he and Jane had tea and cake with John and Janet.


The PaulMcCartney Project 1 year ago

wow, what an amazing story, fans could be... fanatic :) Thanks for sharing, Andrew!


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