Timothy Leary’s Hitchcock Estate


The Hitchcock Estate in Millbrook, New York is a historic mansion and surrounding grounds. The 64-room Bavarian baroque mansion was built in the early 20th century by German-born gas magnate Charles F. Dieterich and eventually sold to the Hitchcock family in 1963. The siblings Billy Hitchcock and Peggy Hitchcock who have both tried LSD would open the doors of their estate to Timothy Leary and the Psychedelic Movement.

In September of 1963, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner (their colleague at Harvard) moved into the Hitchcock Estate, along with thirty or so of their followers. There Leary established what he called the League for Spiritual Discovery.

Timothy Leary

1967. © Getty Images


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During Leary’s residence at the mansion (1963–1968) the culture and ambiance there evolved from scholarly research into psychedelics to a more party-oriented atmosphere, exacerbated by an increasing stream of visitors and guests included R. D. Laing, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Mingus. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters visited in their bus Further.


The mansion was the target of drug raids. In April 1966, a squad of police investigators headed by G. Gordon Lilly, later to achieve notoriety and a criminal conviction in the Watergate affair, arrested Leary and three other people at mansion for possession of marijuana. Leary and his group were evicted in 1968; Leary moved to California.

Granny Takes a Trip

Granny Takes a Trip was the first psychedelic boutique in “Swinging London” in the 1960s.

The boutique was the brainchild of graphic designer Nigel Weymouth  and his girlfriend Sheila Cohen – part time actress and fanatical collector of vintage clothing.  In the summer of 1965, John Pearse, who had trained as a tailor on Savile Row, agreed to join them in the venture.  Granny Takes a Trip opened it’s doors in December 1965 at 488 King’s Road,  – an area known as World’s End in Chelsea.

The name of the boutique was giving away its policy – ‘Granny’ symbolized the influence of the past, and ‘Trip’ , a colourful world of bougeoing hippie movement and its drug of choice – LSD.

Initially the ambience was a mixture of New Orleans bordello and futuristic fantasy. Marbled patterns papered the walls, with rails carrying an assortment of brightly coloured clothes. Lace curtains draped the doorway of its single changeroom, and a beaded glass curtain hung over the entrance at the top of steps, which led on into the shop. In the back room, an Art DecoWurlitzer blasted out a selection of music.

The boutique clothed London’s fashionable young men and women, including many major rock performers. A constant stream of people visited the shop, especially on Saturdays during the weekly King’s Road Parade.

The facade of the boutique was an ever changing display of psychedelia, from Native American chiefs to the giant pop-art face of Jean Harlow and a car driving out of the window.

The Animals


Nigel Weymouth (right)

George Harrison wearing blazer from Granny Takes a Trip

Michael J. Pollard outisde Granny Takes A Trip