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Magical Mystery Tour of Oxfordshire Part 1

By Richard Loftus and Stephanie Tye


The iconic music of The Beatles will be brought to life on stage at the New Theatre this month. Let it Be, the spectacular concert jam-packed with over 40 of The Beatles greatest hits, celebrates the legacy of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band from Mon 20 - Sat 25 June. 

The Beatles music, and indeed the fab four themselves, are no strangers to Oxfordshire. The riverside market town, Henley-on-Thames, is where George Harrison was based for the last 30 years of his life. We went on a Magical Mystery Tour of his former stomping ground…

Henley-on-Thames Registry Office

Olivia and George married in a private ceremony at the Henley-on-Thames Registry Office in September 1978.
The Henley Standard reported on the marriage later that month, commenting that “George married Mexican-born Olivia Trinidad Arias while his eldest brother Harry was out playing a Saturday morning round of golf and neither he nor his other brother Peter knew of the marriage until later”.

The Row Barge

In The Row Barge, George Harrison met Ten Years After frontman, Alvin Lee. Harrison offered the singer the song, 'So Sad' for his forthcoming country-folk album. Lee accepted and recorded the song at Friar Park in 1973, with Ronnie Wood on guitar.

For more information about the pub, visit http://www.therowbarge.com/


*** Click Here For The Magical Mystery Map ***

Friar Park

This 120-room mansion was originally built as a weekend retreat for the eccentric Sir Frank Crisp in 1899. The property was sold at auction and eventually was donated for the use of nuns. George Harrison bought Friar Park at just 27 years old, in 1970, shortly after The Beatles split. 

Two years later and Friar Park had a fully operating recording studio. Harrison's home inspired solo recordings including ‘CrackerboxPalace' and 'Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)'.

Friar Park sits on 32 acres of land, 12 of which were overgrown gardens covering lakes and grottos and a vast collection of gnomes. The cover photo of George Harrison’s 1970 album All Things Must Pass shows him on the grounds of Friar Park, surrounded by Sir Frank Crisp’s gnomes.

The Crown Inn

Tracing the footsteps of George Harrison finished outside of Henley-On-Thames, in nearby Pishill. The Crown Inn was the first venue in Oxfordshire to be granted a past-midnight drinks and music licence, and consequently became a favourite hang-out, with people travelling out from as far away as London to see performers such as George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Dusty Springfield perform.

For more information about the pub, visit http://www.thecrowninnpishill.co.uk/