Historic gates at Dukes Meadows brought back to royal glory

Work has begun on a makeover of the historic Promenade Gates at Dukes Meadows.

Published: Tuesday, 10th May 2022

The Promenade Gates at Dukes Meadows
‘Gate’ Expectations: The Promenade Approach Gates at Dukes Meadow, which are being restored.

Work has begun to bring the historic Promenade Approach Gates at Chiswick’s Dukes Meadows back to their former glory. 

The £60,000 project will see extensive restoration work to the Art Deco gates to bring them back into public use. 

Over the coming weeks, blacksmiths and stonemasons will remove rust and the remnants of the original paintwork. The brickwork will be repaired or replaced, along with the hinges and locking mechanisms. To cap it all, the distinctive Art Deco lettering on the gates will be restored. 

Work will be completed by mid-May. Access through the gates onto Edensor Road will be restricted while the work is completed. 

The gates were originally installed in the 1920s as the grand entrance to the newly-established Dukes Meadows. It aimed to provide the growing working community of the area with a space to enjoy the fresh air and greenery. 

Prince Albert, who went on to become King George VI, opened the gates for the very first time as guest of honour at the park’s opening in 1926.

Members of the Dukes Meadow Trust have been working hard to restore the park after it fell into decline during the 1980s. 

The gate restoration project is a partnership between the Trust, the Heritage of London Trust, the Ironmongers Company and the London Borough of Hounslow. 

Chair of the Dukes Meadows Trust, Paul Davis, said: “We are delighted that after three years of 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 the owner of the gates, has acted as commissioner of the work. The Trust will be contributing £26,000 towards the cost from its reserves, raised from the regular Sunday Food Market and artists’ studio.”

The gates are beside Cavendish Primary School. Schoolchildren will play an active role in the restoration by visiting the conversation teams to watch them at work as part of the Heritage of London Trust’s Proud Places programme. 

Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust, said: “Our involvement is part of a huge effort to instil a sense of pride in Dukes 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.”

Victoria Lawson, the Director of Environment, Culture and Customer Services at Hounslow Council, said: “It is wonderful to see work get underway to bring these iconic gates back into use. The Council is proud to be part of this project. We are sure that residents and visitors to Dukes Meadows will appreciate and enjoy the stunning new-look gates for years to come.”

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