The house from a hand-colored 1830 engraving
The park and house from a 1790 engraving
The entrance facade
The garden facade
Built / Designed For: Sir John Bagg
House & Family History: The original Tudor house of the Bagg family was sold in 1661 to Sir (later Lord) George Carteret, who probably made some improvements to Saltram before selling it in 1712 to George Parker. In the 1740s John Parker and his wife, Lady Catherine, carried out Palladian style alterations, followed by the 1760s interior designs of Robert Adam. Adam's famous saloon is a double cube room with Axminster carpet and furniture also by Adam (some of Adam's architectural drawings can be seen at the house). There is extensive ornate plasterwork throughout and a large amount of original hand-painted Chinese wallpaper. In 1789, as part of recovery from one of the king's bouts with mental instability, Saltram was lent to George III and Queen Charlotte for a multi-week stay. In 1808 the 2nd Lord Boringdon's wife (a daughter of the 10th Earl of Westmorland's runaway marriage to Sarah Child) left him for Sir Arthur Paget. In the divorce proceedings Lord Boringdon (later 1st Earl of Morley) was awarded £10,000 in damages. Mrs. Henry Wood is supposed to have based her novel "East Lynne" on the events after the divorce when Lady Boringdon returned to her nine-year-old son (she hadn't seen him since he was an infant) as he lay dying after having swallowed a stalk of rye. Her ex-husband, with her at their son's bedside, pretended not to recognize her. The 3rd Earl of Morley became deputy speaker of the House of Lords. He had two bachelor sons, the 4th and 5th Earls, who lived together at Saltram (without electricity) from 1905 until the mid-20th century. The National Trust acquired the house and estate in 1957, when they were donated by the Parker family to the trust in lieu of death duties. The waltz was danced for the first time in England in the saloon at Saltram.
Collections: Saltram survives complete with its original contents. It has decorative paintings by Antonio Zucci and Angelica Kauffman, together with paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds (a friend of the Parker family) and decorative arts by Wedgwood and Chippendale. There are exquisite plasterwork ceilings and four rooms are decorated with 18th century Chinese wallpaper; in fact, Saltram is probably richer in Chinoiserie decoration than virtually any other English house.
Comments: Robert Adam's saloon at Saltram is considered one of the most beautiful rooms in England.
Garden & Outbuildings: The 18th century gardens are exceptional and contain an orangery, follies, and a chapel, all set in 500 acres of parkland on the banks of the River Plym. During World War II the park was occupied by the United States Army.
Chapel & Church: The 19th century chapel is today the tearoom.
Architect: John FoulstonDate: 1818-20
Country Life: LIX, 124, 160 plan, 1926. CXXXIX, 1386 [Pictures], 1480 [Wedgwood], 1966. CXLI, 998, 1064, 1160, 1967.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 2008
Reference: pgs. 52, 392, 782, 884
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Treasure Houses of Britain, The - SOFTBACK
Author: Jackson-Stops, Gervase (Editor)
Year Published: 1985
Reference: pg. 434
Publisher: Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press)
Book Type: Softback
Title: Genius of Robert Adam: His Interiors, The
Author: Harris, Eileen
Year Published: 2001
Reference: pg. 233
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
Year Published: 1990
Reference: pg. P 872
Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: Mayhew family, 16th century. Sir James I Bagg, circa 1613-24; James II Bagg, 1624-38; George Bagg, 1638-60. Captain Henry Hatsell, 1660-61. Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, 1st Bt., 1661-80. George Parker, 1712-43; John Parker, 1743-68; John Parker, 1st Baron Boringdon, 1768-88; John Parker, 2nd Baron Boringdon and 1st Earl of Morley, 1788-1840; Edmund Parker, 2nd Earl of Morley, 1840-64; Albert Edmund Parker, 3rd Earl of Morley, 1864-1905; Edmund Robert Parker, 4th Earl of Morley, 1905-51; Montagu Brownlow Parker, 5th Earl of Morley, 1951-57.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction