Sir Tom Jones’ party pad from the 1960s has gone on sale, giving fans a sneak peak inside the luxury estate. The 82-year-old Welsh powerhouse has enjoyed a career spanning more than six decades and shows no signs of slowing down.
Jones is set to perform live in Cardiff this weekend alongside The Stereophonics. He’s also no stranger to North Wales, here’s a look back at the night he wowed thousands in Rhyl last summer.
With Jones’ former party pad up for sale, fans have been able to look back at where Sir Tom lived at the very start of his career. Jones moved to the Manygate Lane estate in Surrey in the 1960s and lived there with wife Linda and son Mark.
Jones was at the very start of his career when he lived in the contemporary estate near Shepperton Studios, which is said to have attracted a range of celebrity homeowners at the time due to its privacy, Wales Online reports. In his autobiography Over the Top and Back Sir Tom said many stars gravitated to the area because of its “nice houses”, “privacy”, and being “within striking distance of the city” as it’s just 15 miles or so from London.
Rumoured to be popular with celebrity homeowners, the home was likely to have been the backdrop to many A-list celebrity parties over the years. If you lived on the funky Manygate Lane estate in the 1960s and needed to pop around to the neighbours to borrow a cup of sugar it would not have been unusual for Tom Jones to answer the door and oblige.
The two-storey open-plan houses were designed by Swiss architect Edward Schoolheifer and built in 1964 by the Lyons Group. At the time the modernist design was considered radical and included large windows, wood panelling, and flat roofs with the homes clustered around two landscaped quadrangles.
The open-plan living areas were designed to blur the boundaries between the house and the outside with both the front and rear gardens visible from many spaces and from many angles inside – a design that is popular in modern homes today. Many people like to rummage around in their home’s past when they move in, or over the years of living there, to find out about its background and maybe discover something amazing about their abode.
Imagine finding out a Welsh legend used to sleep, eat, and surely sing in the shower at your current home. But the current owners of Sir Tom’s Shepperton home, Adam James and his partner Brynn Robinson, had no idea they were purchasing a slice of a famous Welshman’s past property history.
Only after the sale had completed did the couple find Sir Tom’s name on the original paperwork as a past owner. Adam told website SurreyLive in 2016: “It was a great added bonus. It’s nice to have a little bit of history. From what I have read he loved living here and gave the house to his parents when he moved to a house in Sunbury.”
After much discussion the couple decided they had to bring Sir Tom back into the house in some way. Adam joked they discussed creating a “Tom Jones shrine in the toilet” but settled on some large black and white prints of Sir Tom relaxing in the home.
These are now displayed mainly in the hall but the crooner’s distinctive looks, that used to compel women to throw underwear at him while he sang on stage, can be seen popping up in photo frames elsewhere around the house too. Adam said: “This was his first family house he bought. Green, Green Grass of Home was released and rumour has it that he had green carpet laid upstairs in the house.
“When we moved in we found a bit of it under the wardrobe when we were clearing out upstairs.” Since then this strip of green carpet has become almost as famous as the house itself, including appearing on The One Show during a feature about Sir Tom.
The house now has sophisticated interior design that oozes retro elegance as well as ensuring the owners’ personalities are represented. As well as the home’s truly unique past it still retains many of its classic and much-admired 1960s features including huge windows, wooden panelled ceiling, and New Zealand Jarrah wood floors.
The couple’s interior design taste is influenced by the decade in which the home was built with clean lines and strong accent colours and a 1960s style sofa as the living area’s centrepiece. The ground floor offers a spacious and sociable reception room that spans the width of the house and connects to the garden via a whole wall of glass floor-to-ceiling windows and doors.
The design is as impressive as the home’s past with open doorless walkways flanking the central kitchen that looks out over the rear garden and front door from its forward-facing units. This central zone of the ground floor also houses a cloakroom and two handy storage rooms.
Upstairs there are three generous bedrooms and a bathroom with a highly stylish monochrome interior design scheme and the ‘sing Tom Jones songs’ shower. Adam and Brynn found Sir Tom’s house in 2000 by accident when two friends were renting on the estate and Adam went to visit them.
Adam said: “It was quite dark when I arrived but the whole estate was lit up. It was like I had just arrived in the Hollywood Hills. This is California living in the suburbs.”
The pair were smitten with the location and authentic retro cool each home on the estate oozes from every brick and out of every large picture window but lost out on two. Determined not to give up they seized on the chance to bag this gem, seeing it on one day and putting an offer on it the following day.
Since living at the house the pair have been approached by a Sir Tom Jones fan when they were outside gardening and let him have a tour around the house. “He was a big Tom Jones fan and he loved it.”
Back in the sixties the house probably set Sir Tom back by around £8,000 but now you’re going to need to find £650,000 down the back of the 1960s retro-style sofa.
But any Tom Jones or luxury property fan will tell you that if you can afford it it’s a small price to pay to bag a property to call your very own green, green grass of home and whether you decide to fit it out with green carpet or not is totally up to you. For more information contact The Modern House on 020 3795 5920.