FOR THE first time in five centuries a gate into Syon Park has opened to the public to allow better access to the hotel and park.
Mayor Pritam Grewal officially opened the gothic-style Duchess Gate on London Road, Brentford last Thursday.
When Waldorf Astoria applied for planning permission for Syon Park Hotel, part of their agreement with the council was to renovate the gate, which may have been damaged during the Battle of Brentford, and to open it to the public for better access.
The gate is believed to have been connected to a house in the park called Little Syon which was built in the late 16th century and was believed to be home to a then Dowager Duchess who lived there briefly before the house was demolished in the 19th century.
Over the centuries there have also been whispers the gate may have been built for a duke's mistress to slip in and out of discreetly.
The gate is open from 8am to 5:30pm in November up until January, 7am to 7:30pm in March, April, September and October and from 7am to 9pm in May until August.