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Syon Park Gardens ~ Flora's Lawn and Column ~ London ~ and those Geese again!

In 1750, Sir Hugh Smithson inherited the Percy estates through his wife, Elizabeth Seymour (the Percy family name had ceased due to the 11th Earl of Northumberland only producing a female heir). Proud of her ancestry, Elizabeth and her husband revived the Percy name. In 1750, Sir Hugh became Earl and then 1st Duke of Northumberland in 1766. The first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland were determined to make their mark on Syon Park; their solution was to completely redesign the estate. The Scottish architect, Robert Adam was instructed to remodel the interior of Syon House and the Northumbrian designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, to lay out the grounds in the fashionable style of the English Landscape Movement. Brown and Adam had more in common than just being fashionable designers; both were aspiring to create a new ideal form of an earlier time. Whilst Adam’s architecture was inspired by classical Rome, so Brown took the medieval deer park as a model for an ideal countryside. Both were consciously borrowing the connotations of wealth, power and antiquity, and packaging them for their clients. The Duke was one of Robert Adam’s chief patrons and engaged him soon after Adam returned from Italy. In 1761, Adam published his plan for the interior decoration of Syon House, which included a complete suite of rooms on the principal level, together with a rotunda to be erected in the main courtyard. In the event, five main rooms on the west, south and east sides of the House, from the Great Hall to the Long Gallery were refurbished in the Neo-classical style. It was enough to place a stamp on the architect and his work in England and it is said, “at Syon the Adam style was actually initiated”. Syon House is feted as Adam’s early English masterpiece and has been recognised as the finest surviving evidence of his revolutionary use of colour.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 4, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Nick Weall
    • Taken on 2009/10/04 11:31:24
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 20.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/10.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO400
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash