- Syon House
Syon House and its 200 acre (80
hectare/800,000 m²) parkis situated in West London, in England. It belongs to the Duke of Northumberlandand is now his family's London residence. The family's traditional central London residence was Northumberland House.
Syon House shares its name with
Syon Abbey, a medieval monastery of the Bridgettine Order, founded in 1414 or 1415, at the current Syon Park site, by Henry V and completed by his son, Henry VI. In 1539, the abbey was surrendered to the English crown during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the monastic community was expelled. [Citation |last= |first= |title=Syon Park:History |series=Syon Park:The London Home of the Duke of Northumberland ]
In 1541 and part of the following year, Henry VIII's fifth wife,
Catherine Howard, was brought to Syon for her long imprisonment. In February of 1542, she was taken to the Tower of Londonand executed on charges of adultery.
Syon was in the possession of
Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset(through his wife, Elizabeth Seymour ("née" Percy), Duchess of Somerset) in the late 17th century. After the future Queen Anne had a disagreement with her sister, Mary II, over her friendship with Sarah Churchill, Countess of Marlborough, she was evicted from her court residence at the Palace of Whitehalland stayed at Syon with her close friends, the Somersets, in 1692. Anne gave birth to a stillborn child there. Shortly after the birth, Queen Mary II came to visit her, again demanding that Anne dismiss the Countess of Marlborough, and stormed out again when Anne flatly refused.
In the eighteenth century, Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, commissioned architect and interior designer
Robert Adam, and landscape designer Lancelot “Capability” Brownto redesign the house and estate. Work began on the interior reconstruction project in 1762. Five large rooms on the west, south and east sides of the House, were completed before work ceased in 1769. A central rotunda, which Adams had intended for the interior courtyard space, was not implemented, due to cost. [cite book |last=Field |first=D. M. |title=The World's Greatest Architecture Past & Present |page=p.207]
Syon Park borders the
Thames, looking across the river to Kew Gardens, and near its banks is a tidal meadow flooded twice a day by the river. It contains more than 200 species of rare trees. Although the park and lake were designed by Capability Brown in 1760, their character today is nineteenth century. The circular pool has a copy of Giambologna's Mercury.The Great Conservatory in the gardens, designed by Charles Fowlerin 1828 [cite web
title = Great Conservatory
publisher = Syon Park
url = http://www.syonpark.co.uk/tour_conservatory.asp
accessdate = 2008-07-18] and completed in 1830, was the first conservatory to be built from metal and glass on a large scale. The conservatory was shown in a dream sequence in
Meera Syal's 1993 film " Bhaji on the Beach". It was also the setting for the music video to The Cure's 1984 single The Caterpillar, directed by Tim Pope. Henry Percy, 11th Duke of Northumberlandwho was head of the family from 1988 to 1995, was noted for planting many trees in the grounds of Syon.
In 2002, the English poet
Geoffrey Hillreleased a booklength poem, "The Orchards of Syon", to much acclaim. "The Orchards of Syon", focuses on the history of the region and in particular on the orchard of rare trees first planted in Syon Abbey. Robert Altman's 2001 film, Gosford Park, was partly filmed at Syon House.
London Butterfly Housewas based in the grounds of Syon Park until it's closure on 28th October 2007, due to the Duke of Northumberland's plans to build an hotel complex on the landcite web
last = Brown
first = Ed
coauthors = McGrath, Martin and Davis, Matt
title = So Crosse As Butterflies Head North
publisher = News Associates
url = http://www.journalism-courses.com/Archive.aspx?Type=&ID=ebd7f936-446d-494f-ac99-2794462e4179
accessdate = 2008-07-18] .
In 2004 planning permission was granted for the deluxe £35 million Radisson Edwardian Hotel [cite web
last = Malvern
first = Jack
title = Duke's hotel is a threat to butterflies' historic home
publisher = The Times
date = 2005-01-05
url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article407450.ece
accessdate = 2008-07-18] .
Alnwick Castle- the principal seat of the Dukes of Northumberland.
Northumberland House- the former central London residence of the Dukes of Northumberland.
For Further Reading
* "Syon House; The Story of a Great House" - With a short guide for visitors, and with 4 (colour) plates, 2 endpaper maps (in colour), and 22 illustrations in Monochrome (The illustrations mainly relate to paintings, artefacts and the building). First published by Syon House Estate (UK) in 1950 with 48 pages and no ISBN.
* [http://www.syonpark.co.uk Syon Park official site]
* [http://www.dicamillocompanion.com/Houses_hgpm.asp?ID=1918 Syon House entry from The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses]
* [http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Details/Default.aspx?id=202629&mode=quick Syon House on Images of England website with architectural details]
* [http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=public&X=517000&Y=176500&scale=10000&width=700&height=400&gride=&gridn=&lang=&db=freegaz&coordsys=gb Aerial photo and map]
* [http://www.archistoria.it/web/opera_immagini.php?opera=4 Drawings and photos]
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