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This is the magnificent house that made Robert Adams. At only twenty nine years of age he was commissioned to decorate Syon House, and the series of rooms he created here are said to be amongst the most brilliant of his career. Not only did Adams design much of the interior of the house, but he was also responsible for some of the exterior features such as the ornate 3 arched bridge with classical maidens appearing as if to support it.
Syon House lies within London's suburbia, it takes its name from a monastery founded here by Henry V in 1415. Some of the former monastic buildings are incorporated into the house we see today, they were left as relics from after the Dissolution when the monastic estate was given to the Duke of Somerset.
This is a house upon which no expense was spared, the visitor sees the rooms in the order Adams worked upon them. The first is the stately Roman-style hall, with plasterwork by Joseph Rose, who made the statutory to Adam's designs. The sheer spectacle of the ante-room leaves you breathless, with its gilding and vivid colouring, it perfectly epitomises the Roman Empire at its most lavish.
The Dining Room was Adams first major triumph here, it was the first room to be completed by him, and is all cool ivory and gold.
The Red Drawing Room takes its name from the Spitalfields silk lining the walls. This room is filled with ornate gilded furniture, portraits, a superb mirror hangs above a typical Adams fireplace, and the room is entered through a classical Adams doorway. Even the beautiful Moorfield carpet on the floor was to Adams design, while the ceiling is an elaborate pattern of diamonds and octagons intersected by bands of gilding.
Another outstanding feature is the lavish Long Gallery which Robert Adams designed as essentially a room to be used by the ladies of the household. Here the visitor sees rich ornamentation, in a room that positively glows with gold spangled pinks and shades of palest green.
Syon House is the last surviving ducal residence complete with country estate in Greater London, it is fully deserving of Sir John Benjamin's observation when he declared Syon to be " A Grand Architectural Walk" for this it truly is. Here visitors can see magnificent state rooms and parts of private apartments that have played host to many crowned heads throughout the centuries; these include - King Charles II, Queen Victoria and members of the present Royal family.
The house offers something for everyone, in the grounds there is a spectacular conservatory, there is an indoor adventure playground, a Butterfly House and an Aquatic House. You can enjoy lunch on the patio, or take a picnic by the lake. There is also a National Trust Gift shop and an Arts centre.
Throughout the year Syon House offers a series of interesting events, and the house has been the setting for some famous film and television productions, these include - The Lost Prince, Byron, The Golden Bowl and The Peoples Duchess.
This is a singularly dramatic house with a fascinating history with which no one could fail to be impressed. It lies half way between central London and Heathrow Airport, and is a rare jewel in London's urban sprawl, that no visitor should miss.
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