on the tour
The Wick was designed by architect Robert Mylne in 1775 on the site of the Bull’s Head Tavern. The sound of the wind around the house reportedly inspired Mary Hayley Bell, actress, writer and wife of previous owner, Sir John Mills, to write the novel Whistle Down The Wind which was made into both a film and an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
Ronnie Wood bought the Wick from Sir John Mills in 1971. He couldn’t afford to buy the cottage at the end of the garden, so that was bought by fellow Face Ronnie Lane. Both John Mills and Ronnie were into snooker, and the house had an amazing snooker table that had belonged to former world champion Joe Davis Ronnie. Wood had a recording studio built in the basement and soon after it was installed, George Harrison turned up with the Monty Python team and a big jam session took place.
Another regular visitor was George Harrison’s wife Pattie, with whom Ronnie had a passionate affair. Keith Richards lived in the coach house for several months during 1973-1974 when Ronnie Wood owned the home. Ronnie’s wife Krissy met Keith at Tramps nightclub, and invited Keith back to the house, to help on Ronnie’s new album. Keith ended up staying for 4 months. Keith hiding out from the police, who had raided his home in Chelsea, looking for drugs. The police finally tracked him down, and put Ronnie’s home under surveillance from a room in the Richmond Hill Hotel. When they finally raided the Wick, Ronnie and Keith were in Munich! Ronnie’s wife Krissy was at home and in bed with her good friend Lorraine. Ronnie read in the newspapers about the Lesbian sex orgy that was being held in his house!!
When Wood first bought the house, his fellow Faces band mate Ronnie Lane lived there right up until his departure from that group in June 1973. Wood recorded his first two solo albums, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do” and “Now Look”, released in 1974 and 1975, respectively, in a studio he built in the basement of the house.
The Rolling Stones song, “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” also released in 1974, was written at The Wick, emerging out of a jam between Ronnie Wood, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger, who, along with Keith Richards, appeared on Wood’s album.
Pete Townshend bought the house in 1996.