Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Friar Park is the 120-room Victorian neo-Gothic mansion previously owned by the eccentric Sir Frank Crisp near Henley-on-Thames and bought by George Harrison, as his new home on January 14, 1970. George's first wife Pattie found Friar Park in the newspaper. Friar Park had been a girl's school run by nuns for a number of years. The property was very run down and a lot of work went into restoring it. It has extensive gardens, caves,a lake, and water features, and one main theme to the decor: mockeries of organised religion. Among the statuary is a monk holding 2 skillet's with holes in them, and a plaque reading "Two Holy Friars". Harrison immortalised the building in his song "Crackerbox Palace" (his nickname for the mansion, after Lord Buckley's home in California). A further powerful song, The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll), was also inspired by the mansion's history. Harrison loved tending to the gardens personally, and among the groundskeepers were his older brothers Peter and Harry.
Pattie in 1970