Syon House is the spectacular London home of the Duke of Northumberland. It was built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Medieval Syon Abbey, and came to the family of the present owners in 1594. The house is Tudor in origin and was transformed by Robert Adam into one of his earliest and finest interiors.
Where is Syon House located?
Syon House is at the centre of Syon Park in Brentford, West London. Despite being a mere nine miles from Charing Cross, the park feels as if it were in deep countryside. The park borders the Thames, and has a tidal meadow which floods twice a day.
What is the history of Syon House to the present day?
The house was built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Medieval Syon Abbey, and came to the family of the present owners in 1594. The house has been host to various historical events, such as when Lady Jane Grey was formally offered the crown of England by the Duke in the Long Gallery in 1553. In 1750, The 1st Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, inherited the estate. They were leading figures in contemporary society, and would have inherited a house with dated interiors, surrounded by an unfashionable formal landscape. The solution was a complete redesign of Syon. In one of his first major commissions, the landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability' Brown swept away the formal landscape, replacing it with the open views characteristic of the English Landscape movement. In the house the Scottish architect Robert Adam was commissioned to create a series of striking classical interiors, filled with antiquities shipped from Italy. In 1826, the magnificent Great Conservatory was built by the 3rd Duke. Through the second half of the nineteenth century Syon House was a private home, although used as a hospital during the First World War.
What is there to see and do at Syon House?
The house offers a wealth of wonderful artworks and antique furnishings for you to peruse as you walk the unique interiors of Robert Adam. The house has three levels open for the public to view, with friendly house guides in most rooms to assist visitors. Visitors can walk through the magnificent Great Conservatory, which features a variety of exotic plants. The main path around the gardens takes visitors around the tranquil lake which attracts a whole host of wildlife and boasts a large collection of rare trees. The other attractions at Syon Park include; ‘Snakes and Ladders' for adventurous children, a trout lake for the fly fisherman and the Hilton Hotel.