The House from a hand-colored 1830 engraving
The Park and House from a 1790 engraving
The Front Facade
The Rear Facade
Earlier Houses: The current house has a 16th century Tudor core that was rebuilt in the Palladian style in the 1740s for John and Catherine Parker.
Built / Designed For: Bagg family
House & Family History: The original house was built in the 16th century for the Bagg family. The Baggs sold it in 1661 to Sir (later Lord) George Carteret, who probably made some improvements to the House before selling it in 1712 to George Parker. The Parkers significantly improved the House and hired Robert Adam to redo the Saloon and Library (today the Dining Room). The Saloon is a double-cube 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 Saltram was lent to George III and Queen Charlotte. In 1808 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 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 (after not having seen him since he was an infant) as he lay dying from 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 from 1905 until after the end of World War II. The National Trust acquired the house in 1957 upon the death of the 5th Earl. 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 Chapel Art Gallery, a restored 19th century chapel, is today the site of art exhibitions during the summer months.
Country Life: LIX, 124, 160 plan, 1926. CXXXIX, 1386 [Pictures], 1480 [Wedgwood], 1966. CXLI, 998, 1064, 1160, 1967.
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
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat of: Bragg family, 16th century until 1661. Sir George Carteret, Baron Carteret of Hawnes, 17th century. John Parker, 2nd Baron Boringdon, later 1st Earl of Morley, 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction