The red-bricked Victorian home where Beatles star John Lennon spent the first five years of his life was auctioned for 480,000 pounds ($770,250) this evening.
The three-bedroom, mid-terraced home at 9 Newcastle Road in Wavertree, Liverpool, is located just a few minutes away from Penny Lane — the title of one of the Beatles’ most iconic tracks. The BBC reported that an American who wished to remain anonymous bought the home after a bidding war.
“It has got a lot of history from when he was a youngster,” Andrew Brown, tonight’s auctioneer told ABC News.
The property, that Lennon lived in from 1940 to 1945, has only changed hands a few times since the Lennon family left and according to the current owner, the property still strongly resembles the home that Lennon lived in.
“I have made sure original features have been preserved so that they reflect the 1960s period when the Beatles wowed the world with their rock and roll music,” the owner said in a statement. “The main structure of the house and the features, such as the original Victorian sliding sash windows, are as they were when John Lennon lived here with his parents and his grandparents from 1940 onwards.”
Brown agrees that the house has retained some of the feel from when Lennon lived there, but concedes that if a Beatle hadn’t inhabited the property, he would have refurbished the place. “If it was any other house, you’d say ‘get the builders in.’”
The auction took place at The Cavern Club, a music venue about three miles from the house. It’s a special place to the Beatles as they played there some 292 times between 1961 and 1963.
“It’s the ultimate pilgrimage for Beatles fans across the world,” John Keats, the events director at The Cavern Club said. “It’s a fitting place to hold the auction.”
Speaking to ABC, Brown said that he will start the bidding at £150,000, roughly $240,000, and he expected to sell the property between £150,000 ($240,000) and $250,000 ($400,000). However, he concedes that the fact it’s a celebrity house brings, “an X-factor.” Admitting that, “it’s very difficult to tell what the value will get to.”
Keats has been associated with The Cavern Club for over 20 years. Aside from being a music venue, they also provide Beatles tours. While he doesn’t mind who the house gets sold to, whether it’s a local family just looking for a new home or a foreign Beatles fan, he hopes that the property doesn’t get exploited, admitting that he’s “always mindful of people looking to make a quick buck.”
Following the auction, there was a two-hour performance from the Cavern’s resident John Lennon musician. Keats says that it’s purely a coincidence that he played tonight but added that, “it fits in quite nicely.”