Work Begins on Dukes Meadows Gates Restoration

Art Deco structure from the 1920s had fallen into disrepair

Work Begins on Dukes Meadows Gates Restoration
A blacksmith working on the restoration of the gate

Work on a project to restore the Art Deco gates at the entrance to Dukes Meadows has started.

Blacksmiths and stonemasons have begun the work to bring them back to their former glory. The total cost of the restoration will be £60,000.

The gates are right beside Cavendish Primary School and used on a daily basis by people from the houses and flats adjoining Promenade Approach.

The project will include works to the pintle and hinge bearing points, manufacturing new drop bolts and new jockey wheels, engineering new lock boxes, removing corrosion and repainting. The heavy gloss varnish applied in previous years to the brick piers will be removed and the bricks and stone capitals repaired. The Art Deco lettering will be restored.

The gates were formally opened in 1926 by the Queen’s father, the future King George VI, after Chiswick District Council had bought 200 acres of riverside land from the Duke of Devonshire as part of its plan to open up the southern tip of the parish to give local industrial workers more opportunity to get some fresh air. The Brentford Gas Company had been proposing to use the site for gasworks. By 1925 a 2,000-ft long embankment and terraced promenade lined the loop of the river and sports grounds were under construction. To give the entrance a sense of grandeur and encourage civic pride, a set of iron gates were designed for Promenade Approach.

In the 1980s the park went into decline and it is only in recent years regeneration work was begun by the Duke’s Meadows Trust, but the park’s historic gates and piers in danger of being lost.

The Dukes Meadows Trust also hopes to also improve the surface of the Approach Road itself to create a safe pedestrian and cycle route into the park and to restore the area at the far end of the Approach Road, onto the Thames Path, which is still derelict.

the moment when the Prince opened the gates on Edensor Road to the public for the first timeMoment when the Prince opened the gates to the public for the first time. Picture: Dukes Meadows Trust

Paul Davis, Chair of the Duke’s Meadows Trust, said, “We are delighted that after three years hard work by the Trust, the restoration is going ahead. We are grateful to the London Borough of Hounslow, Heritage of London Trust and the Ironmongers Company, who have generously given funds towards the restoration. Heritage of London Trust also offered valuable advice and the council, as owner of the gates, has acted as commissioner of the work. The Trust will be contributing £26,000 towards the cost from its own reserves, raised from the Sunday Food Market and artists’ studios.”

Some of the people who have worked on the project
Some of the people who have worked on the project

Local schoolchildren are to be invited to visit the conservation teams at work as part of Heritage of London Trust’s Proud Places programme. Heritage of London Trust advised on the conservation works as well as giving a grant of £10,000.

Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust, said, “The poor state of the gates has a depressing effect on the area and does not create a welcoming entrance. Our involvement is part of a huge effort to instill a sense of pride in Duke’s Meadows. The restoration will highlight the park’s 1920s origins and we’re looking forward to bringing local school pupils to visit the blacksmiths at work.”




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April 27, 2022