About the garden
The Duke of Northumberland
By far the most outstanding feature at Syon is the Great Conservatory, designed by Charles Fowler and built by the 3rd Duke of Northumberland between 1820 and 1827. It is a glass palace of extraordinary size and beauty, with curving wings leading out to smaller glasshouses at either side. Tree ferns and cacti are among its larger inhabitants. In front is a formal garden of clipped yews and grass dating from the 1830s.
But one of the nicer aspects of Syon is the way the water meadows along the banks of the Thames are still grazed by cows: it creates a unique rural prospect so close to the heart of London. There are fine trees, too, the relic of a botanical collection dating back to the 1820s: some, including four species of oak, are record-breakers.