Amazing photos of the Beatles filming their Strawberry Fields Forever music video in Sevenoaks


Often considered the most influential band of all time, The Beatles were musical icons in the 1960s.

Their legacy remains as stratospheric today as ever with the release of The Beatles: Get Back, a three-part series directed and produced by Peter Jackson, premiering on Disney + this month.

Read more: Incredible pictures of Kent in the 1960s that will take you back in time

The documentary provides a fascinating glimpse into the making of the Beatles’ Let It Be album in 1970, but it’s a single released three years earlier that has sparked local interest.

Strawberry Fields Forever was released on February 13, 1967 as a double A-sided single with Penny Lane and has proven to be very influential in the emerging psychedelic genre.

His accompanying promotional film is also recognized as a pioneering work in the field of music video; although some people may not know it, Knole Park in Sevenoaks served as the backdrop for the iconic video.

The quartet filmed the 383.4 hectare biological site of Special Scientific Interest on January 30 and 31, 1967 before returning the following week – filming part of the promotional film for Penny Lane in the same location.

It was written by John Lennon, and also credited to Paul McCartney, who wrote the song based on his childhood playing in the kindergarten of a children’s home in nearby Liverpool, who was called Strawberry Field.



John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr visited the deer park three times in January and February 1967 – also pictured is Paul’s dog, Martha

For those who have seen the video, you might remember a dead oak tree that was at the center of much of the 4 minutes and 23 seconds, possibly inspired by the lyrics, “No one I think, no. ‘is in my tree “.

He formed the centerpiece for the quartet to engage in all manner of artistic, colorful and downright unusual antics.

But did you know that the tree made famous by the Fab Four can be seen by the people of Kent?

The films were both produced by Tony Bramwell and directed by Swedish director Peter Goldmann, who drew inspiration in his work from the style of Richard Lester in the Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night in 1964.

Bramwell recalled that “it all looked like it was played on a strange instrument”, so spent two days dressing the big tree to look like “a combined piano and harp, with strings” .

The debate among Beatlemania detectives as to whether the tree still exists rumbles with The Great Storm of 1987, when Knole Park lost many trees, not helping investigations.

Due to lighting issues check-in had to be completed on January 31st.



Work had just started on the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album, but there was a feeling the band needed new music to come out ASAP, their first new music since the August album Revolver. 1966.
Work had just started on the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album, but there was a feeling the band needed new music to come out ASAP, their first new music since the August album Revolver. 1966.

The clip featured the new group image of The Beatles with the four mustaches now sporting as Lennon wore his round “granny” glasses for the first time as a member of The Beatles.

Combined with their psychedelic clothing, the band’s appearance contrasted sharply with the young “moptop” image of their touring years.

The clip expertly drew on abstract imagery and featured reverse film effects, long crossfades, jump cuts including day to night, overlays and extremely close-ups.

The Beatles are shown playing and then pouring paint onto the upright piano; at one point, McCartney appears to be jumping off the ground onto a branch of the tree.



Paul McCartney is pictured in this setting, playing the piano in Knole Park.  This piano also plays a big role in the video
Paul McCartney is pictured in this setting, playing the piano in Knole Park. This piano also plays a big role in the video

The music video for the song served as an early example of what became known as a music video and was yet another example of the Beatles ahead of their time.

As for Penny Lane, the group returned to Knole Park on February 7 to shoot the riding and candelabra scenes.

They rode their horses through an archway in a crumbling wall, watched by a crowd of students from Sevenoaks School.

In 1985, the Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane clips were the earliest selections included in the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Most Influential Music Video exhibit.

The video has been viewed over 60 million times on Youtube and you will be able to watch it in a whole new light if you didn’t know its local filming location before.

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