I admit to having a little bit of a crush on the Romantic poet Lord Byron. I’m always interested in finding out more about his life, and decided to do just that last weekend.
Saturday – I visited Harrow, which is where Byron went to school. I’m currently trying to visit every station on the London Underground (and blog about this here), so took the opportunity to tick off a few Harrow-related stations at the same time. I couldn’t visit the actual school, but I did go to St Mary’s church.
Byron’s favourite spot is marked by a plaque. I can understand why he liked it here; it’s a lovely, calm, quiet spot, with a stunning view.
Sunday – I visited Syon Park, the London residence of the Duke of Northumberland. It has been used in several films including Gosford Park and the 2003 BBC drama about Byron’s life. The outside of the house was impressive, but the inside was magnificent.
Syon Abbey, which originally stood on the site, was dissolved by Henry VIII. Later, he suffered what must have seemed like divine judgement: when Henry’s body spent the night at Syon on the way to burial at Windsor, the coffin burst and dogs were found the next morning licking up the remains. The house itself was built by the first Duke of Somerset, uncle of and Lord Protector to the young King Edward VI. It was acquired in 1594 by Henry Percy, the 9th Earl of Northumberland, and has remained in the family ever since.