In the 1400s the Sion convent of nuns and monks was established which, following the dissolution of the monasteries and successive remodellings to the building over the centuries, became the Syon House that we know today. One of King Henry VIII's fateful wives, Catherine Howard, was imprisoned at Syon House for three months before being beheaded at the Tower of London for adultery! The interior of the house was redesigned in the late 1700s by the renowned designer Robert Adam and the grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, who created the gardens at Blenheim Palace amongst 170 other parks. Nowadays Syon Park is home to many leisure facilities as well as the original house, now the London home of the 12th Duke of Northumberland and a stately home open to the public.
Private ownership of the land surrounding Syon House fostered the development of a small but wealthy village. In the 1600s, the village was centred around the site of today's Church Street, although the original buildings didn't survive later regeneration in the Georgian and Victorian era. The land surrounding the village was farmed in equal halves for animals and crops. The main crop output was fruit, particularly raspberries, which were transported daily to Covent Garden by pushcart - a gruelling ten mile walk!
Named in the Domesday Book as Gistelworde and latterly referred to as Thistleworth and Istleworth, Isleworth was just a small riverside farming settlement right up until the late 1800s, but like many West London suburbs, the arrival of rail travel signalled the beginning of the larger modern-day settlements.
The grand mid-Victorian homes of Woodlands Road and Woodlands Grove were some of the first homes to be built as part of Isleworth's expansion around the railway station. This development was swiftly followed by smaller workers' cottages between Linkfield Road and St Johns Road, and also in the Old Isleworth area around Worple Road. Many of the larger properties built on The Grove, Osterley Road and Thornbury Road have since been converted into flats or replaced by small modern housing estates, giving Isleworth its distinctive personality of a wide range of architectural styles.
By far the most significant expansion of Isleworth took place in the 1930s, when the Northumberland Estate, the Woodlands Estate and the network of roads along the spine of Jersey Road were built. These properties were built to house the growing workforce of the Golden Mile's factories which made everything from bedsheets to toothpaste and windscreen wipers to razor blades.
Like Syon House and Chiswick House, Osterley House was a country retreat once surrounded by rural countryside. All three of these houses have limited bedroom accommodation, with the focus being on grand entertaining spaces and landscaped gardens. In the 1700s Osterley House was repossessed by a bank because the owner defaulted on his mortgage repayments, and subsequently became the home of the Earl of Jersey. The house and grounds became a Home Guard training school during World War II, where trainees learned street-fighting techniques, how to mix home-made explosives and even how to paint camouflage. The 9th Earl of Jersey then opened the house to the public as he felt he didn't use the house enough and many people were eager to look around it. Now under the charge of the National Trust, 350,000 people visit the house and extensive grounds each year.
West Middlesex Hospital is built on the site of Brentford Union Workhouse, dating from 1837, which provided 'work for those who could work, relief for those who could not and punishment for those who would not'. Conditions were harsh, food was basic and the grand Elizabethan-style building was in constant disrepair. Part of the workhouse, a school for the children of poor families, was converted into an auxiliary hospital in 1915 to care for wounded servicemen from World War I. Like many other workhouses, which provided respite to disabled, chronically sick and mentally ill locals who couldn't afford healthcare, the Brentford Union Workhouse was gradually converted into a hospital and by the end of the 1930s had over 1,500 beds. The dilapidated warren of Victorian and modern buildings were comprehensively redeveloped in the early 2000s at a cost of £135m to create a purpose built modern hospital on a compact site, with much of the original grounds now devoted to private housing.
Whether you would like to live in a Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Arts and Crafts, 1930s, post-war or modern property, Isleworth has a home for you. Two bedroom flats are available from ï¿½1,400 pcm or ï¿½400,000 and four bedroom family homes from £2,000 pcm or £750,000.