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SYON HOUSE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  SYON ABBEY
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Syon House, the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, was originally founded as Syon Abbey in 1430-70. Syon Abbey was a Bridgettine double house which was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539 and became a royal residence of the king. It doesn't appear that Henry carried out much work on the buildings, however Syon House did play a role during his reign. Queen Catherine Howard was confined to the house in 1541 and munitions were manufactured there as part of the war against France and Scotland. Henry's body even rested at Syon House in 1547 on its way to its burial at Windsor. After Henry's death, Syon House was remodelled by the Duke of Somerset in 1547-52. In 1594, Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, acquired Syon House and the property has remained the family's residence since then. In 1659 the house was restored and it was remodelled internally and externally by Robert Adam in 1760-5. Around 1819-26 the building was almost entirely recased and substantially altered. In 1874 the Percy Lion statue was moved from Old Northumberland House at Charing Cross and erected at Syon House.

Little remains of the abbey or of the 16th century royal residence apart from a 15th century undercroft and various sections of 16th century brick work, much of which was probably reused in the later alterations. Although the house was recased in the early 19th century it still retains its 1547-52 remodelled appearance and is three storeys high with a crenellated roof and gable turrets. The principal rooms of the house including the great hall and state dining room were reconstructed by Robert Adam in 1760-5.

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