This week we have added 129,608 new pages to The Archive. We are excited to welcome four brand new titles to our collection, all of which are London-based publications. Joining us this week is the Kensington Post, with covered years spanning 1918 to 1990, the Tottenham & Edmonton Weekly Herald, covering 1877, the West Middlesex Gazette, with pages spanning 1898 to 1941, and finally the Ealing Gazette & West Middlesex Observer, with added years 1898 to 1923.
We also have updates to seven of our existing titles, with updates to titles covering the counties of Cheshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Sussex, as well as updates to our Irish titles, including the addition of historic years (1723-1724) to the Dublin Intelligence.
With two our of new titles this week covering the area of West Middlesex, we can discover the fascinating history of one of West Middlesex’s most famous buildings, Syon House. Syon House, and its park, is located in Isleworth, bordering the River Thames and overlooking Kew Gardens. An article in the West Middlesex Gazette delves into the history of the building, which is still owned today by the Duke of Northumberland.
The original building was established as a Bridgetine Monastery in the reign of Henry V. With the dissolution of the monasteries, Syon’s ownership passed to Henry VIII, and it was here that he kept his fifth wife, Katherine Howard, prisoner in 1541. In 1604 ownership passed to the Earl of Northumberland, and in the 1760s Robert Adams redesigned its interior.
Having survived the Civil War, in the twentieth century Syon House faced challenges of a different sort. In January 1930 the West Middlesex Gazette reports on a proposal that the ‘Syon House property shall be acquired for a West Middlesex sewage scheme,’ which has ‘scarcely too much to say, startled the whole country. As evidence of this, it should be sufficient to mention that The Times itself has a leader on the matter. To call it a desecration would hardly be too strong a phrase to express the feeling of some minds. And yet, what about the West Middlesex sewage problem, and the protecting of the health of the people?’
The sewage crisis was thankfully dealt with; Mogden Farm a couple of miles away from Syon House was bought by the council and turned into a water treatment works. But further changes were seen at Syon later on in the century. The 1950s saw many of the British Isles’ stately homes fall into disrepair, and many were demolished, meaning that landowners were forced to explore new ways of maintaining their homes.
To this end, the Duke of Northumberland opened Syon House to the public in 1950, charging a half-crown for adults. One inhabitant of nearby Southall remembers visiting Syon House in the early 1950s, and their memories are of a house very much lived in, with old carriages and cars spread around the estate somewhat informally. Indeed, the Duke in the Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer is quoted as saying: ‘I think that the public much prefer seeing houses that are lived in homes, rather than those which are kept as museums, full of relics of bygone generations.’
Syon House remains open to this day, and in our Archive it is possible to discover many articles and stories regarding its remarkable history, as well as how it was used in more modern times, as in the below fashion shoot for The Tatler.
|West Middlesex Gazette||1898-1910, 1912-1923, 1926-1941|
|Ealing Gazette and West Middlesex Observer||1898-1910, 1912-1923|
|Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald||1877|
|Kensington Post||1918-1972, 1987-1988, 1990|
This week we have updated seven of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Hyde & Glossop Weekly News, and North Cheshire Herald||1875|
|Berks and Oxon Advertiser||1959|
|Staffordshire Sentinel||1940-1941, 1943-1950|
|West Sussex County Times||1912|
|Sunday World (Dublin)||1895|