George Harrison leaves his mark in the Algarve.jpg

George Harrison leaves his mark in the Algarve

HIDDEN AWAY above Lagos in the Herdade do Funchal, a rare piece of rock memorabilia has been preserved, although in quite an unusual form. An autograph of The Beatles’ guitarist, George Harrison, has been inscribed into the wall of a villa and preserved for over 30 years.

The guitarist rented the villa from the family of Moira Pitteway, 45, who now resides back in the UK. Her father, Dermott McCarthy, built the four-bedroom holiday home, which has recently been put up for sale.

The message reads: “To Moira, love from George Harrison.” A Hare Krishna prayer written underneath was mistakenly whitewashed over by decorators. The home is on the market for 715,000 euros but, according to agents Knight Frank, is in need of renovation works, “to bring the villa back to its former glory”. A two-bedroom cottage and swimming pool are also in the grounds of the woodland property situated on the Funchal ridge.

Harrison visited the Algarve for a few weeks with some friends, after The Beatles split-up in 1970. He was originally put in an extravagant house in an area he didn’t like, so he asked to be shown some more and picked out the Funchal property.

Moira, a Beatles fanatic, who even shares her birthday with Harrison, remembers the moment she was told the news by her father. “I vividly remember him shouting at me ‘one of those Beatles is renting our house’,” she recalls. “I went mental when he said it was George, who happened to be my favourite.” Harrison was one of the first tenants at the house. “I guess it was humbler than others, like a ranch house.”

When Moira found out about the impending visit of the celebrity, she left a card out asking him to sign the wall. In addition to the signature, Harrison stuck Hare Krishna stamps over doors in the villa, however, tenants have pulled these off over the years. Harrison was a renowned follower of oriental mysticism and famously took the rest of the band to India to bow at the feet of Maharishi Meshi Yogi. His most famous Beatles’ tracks include Something and Here Comes the Sun. He died in 2001 after a long battle with cancer.

“I would hope his name has added a few euros to the property value. It’s an incredibly special place and it’s heartbreaking to let it go, as three generations of our family have enjoyed the villa,” Moira ended.

• For more information about the property, call agents Knight Frank on 00 351 282 789 336.