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Syon Park * Hounslow
Summary: * on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Originally the site of a medieval abbey founded in 1415, Syon was named after Mount Zion in the Holy Land. The gardens at Syon have an extensive collection of rare trees and plants, a legacy of the landscaping by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown for the Duke of Northumberland.
Previous / Other name:
Site location: London Road, Brentford
Postcode: TW8 8JF > Google Map
Type of site: Private Open Land
Date(s): C16th on
Designer(s): Lancelot 'Capability' Brown
Listed structures: LBI: Boathouse and Boatyard, Entrance Lodge and Gates, Floras Column. LBII: Stables, Ornamental Bridge, Former Riding School, Garden Pedestal and Vase, Boundary Wall, Garden Wall, Dairy, Retaining Walls of Garden Pool and Statue, Small Gateway to north-east of park
Borough: Hounslow
Site ownership: The Duke of Northumberland
Site management: Syon Park Estate Office
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: Gardens: Apr- Oct 10.30am-4pm daily. Nov- March weekends 10.30am-3pm. House: mid Mar-end Oct 11am-5pm Wed, Thur, Sun, BH Mons.
Special conditions: Admission Charge to House, Gardens, Conservatory. No dogs except Guide Dogs
Facilities: The Refectory café, shop, toilets, car park. Also Trout Fishery, Art Centre, Day Nursery, adventure playground, Needlecraft Centre, Butterfly House, Maidenhead Aquatics, Aquatic Experience, Wyevale Garden/Pet Centre
Events: Various events throughout the year
Public transport: London Overground/Tube (District): Gunnersbury then bus. Rail: Kew Bridge, Syon Lane then bus. Bus: 235, 237, 267
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/01/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Fuller information:

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see

Syon Abbey was named after Mount Zion in the Holy Land and was founded by Henry V in 1415, dedicated to the Bridgettine Orderwhich was established in the C14th by the Swedish mystic St Bridget. Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII is known to have visited the Abbey, which was later dissolved by Henry in 1539. The Abbey's Father Confessor, Richard Reynolds, had been executed in 1535 due to his opposition to the king's divorce and his subsequent action of making himself Supreme Head of the Church in England; his body was placed in the Abbey gateway. In 1547 when Henry VIII's coffin was brought to Syon on its way to Windsor for burial it is said to have burst open during the night and in the morning dogs were found licking up the remains, which was regarded as divine judgement for his desecration of Syon Abbey. Foundations of the Abbey Church were discovered in 2003.

The gardens at Syon have an extensive collection of rare trees and plants a legacy of the landscaping by 'Capability' Brown. In c.1758 the 1st Duke of Northumberland converted a large orchard into the 'Syon Pleasure Ground'. A statue of Flora on a 55ft high column overlooks a lawn named after her, which now has herbaceous beds containing ornamental thistles, euphorbias, pholox, scabious, gypsophilia and clumps of Prince of Wales plants. One of the main features is the lake, which is a haven for wildlife including terrapins. An ice house was in use at Syon by 1760/1 when it took two days to fill with ice from the lake. The Great Conservatory was built in 1826 for the 3rd Duke of Northumberland. It was designed by Charles Fowler and was the first of its kind to be built out of gunmetal, Bath stone and glass. It was originally designed to act as a show house for the Duke's exotic plants and is said to have inspired Joseph Paxton in his designs for Crystal Palace.

Sources consulted:

See EH Register. Sir Clifford Radcliffe 'Middlesex', Evan Brothers Ltd, (c.1950); David Pape, 'Nature Conservation in Hounslow' Ecology Handbook 15, London Ecology Unit, 1990
Grid ref: TQ171765
Size in hectares: Park c.83 (Gardens 16)
On EH National Register : Yes
EH grade: Grade I
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Isleworth Riverside
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Metropolitan (part)/Borough I (Gdns)
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: Yes - Thames Policy Area
Other LA designation: ENV10 and ENV21. SSSI. Isleworth Capital Challenge

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