George Harrison’s widow applied to build a yoga studio on the estate’s grounds

George Harrison’s widow has applied to build a yoga studio on the grounds of the mansion he loved, which could prove to be the former Beatle’s lasting legacy.

Olivia Harrison, 74, has unveiled plans for the contemporary glass structure to be built in the gardens at Friar Park – the magnificent neo-Gothic mansion Harrison bought in 1970.

Harrison, who died aged 58 in 2001, was the most spiritual member of the group and known for practicing yoga and transcendental meditation.

During his lifetime, he told how he was most at ease surrounded by nature on his sprawling Oxfordshire estate, where he developed the “definitely non-rock star hobby” of gardening.

George Harrison – who died aged 58 in 2001 – was the most spiritual member of the group and known for practicing yoga and transcendental meditation

The self-contained studio features three glass walls, including one with sliding doors, set on a suspended concrete platform finished with porcelain tiles

The self-contained studio features three glass walls, including one with sliding doors, set on a suspended concrete platform finished with porcelain tiles

Olivia has submitted plans for the contemporary glass structure to be built in the gardens at Friar Park - the magnificent neo-Gothic mansion Harrison bought in 1970.

Olivia has submitted plans for the contemporary glass structure to be built in the gardens at Friar Park – the magnificent neo-Gothic mansion Harrison bought in 1970.

Insiders said Olivia “clearly had his legacy in mind” when plans for the new building were submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

She wants the studio and gym to be built on a portion of the property “primarily used for recreation” on a landscaped garden area next to the outdoor pool and pavilion.

It will run parallel to a mature hedge separating the tennis court from the recreation area.

Planning documents say the approach to the character of the 10ft x 23ft structure is to “deliver a contemporary style building surrounded by glazed walls to relate its use to the natural context and to use design and elements, which match the existing pavilion in its immediate context. ‘

The self-contained studio has three glass walls, including one with sliding doors, set on a suspended concrete platform finished with porcelain tiles.

Part of the platform will extend outward to allow outdoor exercise.

According to the plans, the rear wall, featuring iroko wood paneling, will have a facility to hide equipment inside to limit clutter.

Insiders said Olivia Harrison, 74,

Insiders said Olivia Harrison, 74, “clearly had his legacy in mind” when plans for the new building were submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council

According to the plans, the rear wall, featuring iroko wood paneling, will have a facility to hide equipment inside to limit clutter

According to the plans, the rear wall, featuring iroko wood paneling, will have a facility to hide equipment inside to limit clutter

The studio will run parallel to a mature hedge separating the tennis court from the recreation area

The studio will run parallel to a mature hedge separating the tennis court from the recreation area

Part of the platform will extend outward to allow outdoor exercise.  In the photo: the website of the yoga studio

Part of the platform will extend outward to allow outdoor exercise. In the photo: the website of the yoga studio

Shaun Tanner Architecture and Planning, who designed the new yoga studio, said: “The choice of materials and elements has been carefully selected to ensure that a minimalist and contemporary building is delivered on site, which also relates to the existing pavilion opposite.

“The proposal aims to deliver a single storey open plan outbuilding with a flexible layout to suit the proposed use of a gymnasium and yoga room, with the service equipment concealed within the walls and part of the platform being external creating a small a terrace in the front where the resident can also use outdoor yoga and exercise.

The 120-room Victorian mansion, which was built in 1889, is Grade II listed, while the 62-acre estate is designated as a ‘Historical Designed Landscape of National Importance, which is listed by Historic England on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Particular Interest. historical interest.

Close to Henley on Thames, it is also part of a conservation area and an area of ​​’outstanding natural beauty’.

The Gardens Trust, the UK charity dedicated to the heritage of designed gardens and landscapes, was consulted due to the historic nature of the park’s gardens, but declined to comment.

Photo of the existing pavilion, near which the yoga studio will be built as part of the recreation area of ​​the estate

Photo of the existing pavilion, near which the yoga studio will be built as part of the recreation area of ​​the estate

She wants the studio and gym to be built on part of the property

She wants the studio and gym to be built on part of the property “primarily used for recreation” on a landscaped garden area next to the outdoor pool and pavilion (pictured).

Harrison began to embrace spirituality after experimenting with LSD and meeting Swami Vishnu-devananda, the founder of Sivananda Yoga, while filming the film Help! In the Bahamas in 1965.

He bought Friar Park as a quiet escape from London and a place to set up a new recording studio.

After the band broke up, he began to further explore his spiritual journey—and his love of gardening.

He separated from his first wife, Patty Boyd, before marrying American-born Olivia in 1978.

Olivia had also studied meditation with an Indian guru before meeting her husband.

A year after his death, in 2002, she told NBC that Harrison felt most at home in the gardens of Friar Park.

She said: “You know, he really loved nature.

“And I think he felt closest to God in nature.

“Yes, he liked it here.”

“You know he had to leave London in the beginning. And so we continued to move further and further away from London.

“And he found a place where he could escape the crowds, and that was it.”

She also recently spoke about her love of nature around her home, speaking at the Henley Literary Festival about her new book, Came The Lightening.

She said, “The book is in the garden. My life unfolds in the garden.

“The garden is a marker of life. I began by looking at the trees in the garden that have been my witnesses for the past 45 years.

“When we came to live in Henley, George just wanted peace after a tumultuous decade.

“He lived there as a refuge to find some semblance of life.”

Musicians including Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison visited the house, which had one of the best recording studios in the country at one point.

In an interview with David Hartman’s Good Morning America in 1981, George said, “I decided to become a gardener.

“I like the garden. In the garden you see all the seasons come and go and whatever you do can affect everything.

“But at the same time, flowers don’t suit you.” It doesn’t cause you any problems. It is very nice.’

The couple’s love of the home remained despite the rampage in December 1999, when intruder Michael Abrams broke into the property and stabbed the rock star repeatedly.

The application should be decided in early January.

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