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a small shelter in Syon Park

a small shelter in Syon Park

a shelter in Syon Park

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 Fowler in 1828 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 Northumberland, who 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 Hill released 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.
The London Butterfly House was based in the grounds of Syon Park until its closure on 28 October 2007 due to the Duke of Northumberland's plans to build a hotel complex on the land.
In 2004, planning permission was granted for the deluxe £35-million Radisson Edwardian Hotel but was never actually built. Work on a Hilton Hotel started in December 2008 and is expected to open mid-2010.
Syon House was one of the wealthiest nunneries in the country and a local legend recalls that the monks of Shean had a Ley tunnel running to the nunnery at Syon.

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These are sometimes called 'follies', Hilda

25 Jul, 2010


Many Thanks for all the information, Hilda. You go to a great deal of trouble to provide a lot of detail - much appreciated! I'd like to visit here one day.

Not sure that I would class this lovely little gazebo as a "folly". It seems to be what it was built for, and is a nice feature, as well as (probably) providing a good vantage point. Follies, to my mind, Grandmage, are larger structures built by wealthy landowners in the past to act as focal points, conversation pieces, and symbols of their wealth. They were meant to look older than they really were, and many took the form of ruined castles, ruined abbeys, castellated towers, Greek/Roman temples, etc.

25 Jul, 2010


''In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs.'' Found this in an encyclopedia Hilda, so think it could be called a Folly, we do not need to be too serious on here do we??

25 Jul, 2010


Me - serious? With that avatar? :- D) Good quote!

26 Jul, 2010



27 Jul, 2010

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