The current owner, Suzanne Lee (former wife of Alvin Lee from seminal rock band Ten Years After) is hoping the property will be sold as a going concern.
“After 27 years of running the studio, I am incredibly attached to Wheeler End, so selling it hasn’t been the easiest of decisions to make,” Suzanne explains. “But the time has come to move on. What I want more than anything else is to see it sold to someone who intends to carry on using it as a recording studio and to preserve its amazing heritage and atmosphere.”
For nearly three decades, Wheeler End Recording Studio has been providing musicians with the space, the atmosphere and the technology to be truly creative. The main building, which houses the studio, has been restored to recapture the intimate feel of the 17th century farmhouse that it once was. Across the courtyard there is a large barn that has also been completely renovated to provide visiting artists with an inspirational rehearsal and relaxation area. Other outbuildings house garages, stables, workshops and storage areas, many of which have the potential – and the planning permission – to be developed into more accommodation.
Suzanne and Alvin Lee bought Wheeler End in 1980 after selling their former home and studio, Hook End Manor, to Dave Gilmour. Acoustician and studio designer Eddie Veale was commissioned to build the recording studio.Article continues below
“It wasn’t a commercial studio to begin with: more an advanced music room where Alvin and his friends could record in comfort and in private,” Suzanne adds. “Artists are like that – they enjoy playing on each other’s albums - so family friends like George Harrison and Joe Brown would often turn up to jam with Alvin and lay down a few tracks.”
The studio became a commercial facility in 1994 and rapidly established a reputation as a great place to record, especially among artists who were tired of being in London and wanted somewhere more relaxed to work.
The rest of the complex has developed over time, mainly thanks to the input of Suzanne’s second husband Geoff Coupland, who has totally renovated the barn adjacent to the main house, turning into a bright, airy rehearsal and recording space, complete with a magnificent beamed ceiling, oak floors and large windows.
In recent years, Wheeler End has been let on a long-term basis to Noel Gallagher, who first came to the studio in 1999 to record a demo and didn’t want to leave.
Suzanne says: “Like Alvin, Noel has brought many friends here to record, including Paul Weller, The Coral, Proud Mary, Ian Brown and Liam Howlett from Prodigy. Some incredible albums have had their genesis here, not least a number of Oasis albums including Standing On The Shoulders of Giants.”
Noel’s decision to relinquish his tenancy was the catalyst that persuaded Suzanne and Geoff to put Wheeler End on the market.
“We need a change,” Suzanne explains, “and we’ve been doing this for a long time. I’m hoping to find a buyer who wants to keep it as a studio, because that’s what it is set up to be. I want many more artists to have the opportunity to record here and I hope there will be musicians singing, writing and generally being creative at Wheeler End for many years to come.”
Wheeler End Studios
Bucks HP14 3ND
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 881190