London is a city that abounds in historic buildings and splendid gardens and none is more worthy of a visit Syon House, residence of the Duke of Northumberland. Originally a monastery founded by Henry V in the 15th century, this building, with its gable turrets, crenellated roof and Robert Adam interior is a architectural jewel.
Touring the house visitors will find that each unique room reveals a stunning collection of paintings, furnishings and decoration, including the Graeco-Roman Great Hall, the Ante Room with its gilded gods and the Oak Passage containing the painting 'Belshazzar's Feast' by John 'Mad' Martin (1789-1854) -a masterpiece painted on glass and lit from behind.
The House is situated in 200 acres of parkland landscaped by 'Capability' Brown in the mid 18th century and it's now a Grade I landscape in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Importance in England. The gardens feature an ice house dating from 1761, a circular pool with a copy of Giambologna's Mercury and the resplendent Great Conservatory designed by Charles Fowler in the 1820's. The graceful beauty of Syon House and its grounds make it popular with photographers and it has appeared in numerous films including 'Gosford Park' and Meera Syal's 1993 film 'Bhaji on the Beach'.
The Refectory is open daily for drinks and light meals and throughout the season Syon House hosts special events such as Cinema Under the Stars and the Enchanted Wood walk. It's also an exquisite wedding venue for both summer and winter. Whether rain or shine, the lavish but tranquil atmosphere of this magnificent estate is a fine example of the nation's impressive historic environment.
Why? A chance to explore a magnificent country estate within London
When:March to October Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays (also Good Friday and Easter Saturday) - 11.00am to 5.00pm (last entry 4.00pm); gardens daily 10.30am to 5.00pm (last entry 4.00pm
Cost:Syon House & Gardens & Great Conservatory: Adults £9.00, Concessions £8.00, Child £4.00, Family £20.00 Gardens & Great Conservatory Adults £4.50, Concessions £3.50 Child £2.50, Family £10.00