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Saltram // Plymouth

Photo: © Stefan Schweihofer
The Salon
Photo: © xlibber / CC BY-SA 3.0
Neoclassical doorway
Photo: © xlibber / CC BY-SA 3.0

Situated high above the river Plym near Plymouth is the Georgian mansion of Saltram. Although the house actually dates back to Tudor times it was remodelled beyond recognition by the designer and architect of the day, Robert Adam.

The house is set among 500 acres of rolling parkland leading down to the River Plym. As well as woodland walks there are formal gardens to explore along with a number of outbuildings and follies.

What really sets Saltram apart is the quality of its perfectly preserved interior complete with original furnishings. The lavishly appointed main drawing room is perhaps the highlight with its neoclassical design created by Adam. However, the rest of the house does not disappoint; there are period ceramics, original Chinese wallpapers, and any number of fine paintings including ten portraits by Joshua Reynolds.

Saltram's "Golden age" was during the 1770s when it was home to the home was inherited by John Parker (Lord Boringdon) and his wife Theresa. It was during this period that most of the alterations were made and the opulent interiors were assembled.

When the house was inherited by the son (also named John Parker) the family's fortunes began to go awry. After a series of business misadventures the Earl of Morley, as Parker was titled, had to resort to selling of some of the estate's finest artworks to pay his debtors.
Although the family's fortunes had something of an upturn in the 1920s the house was eventually signed over to H.M Treasury in lieu of death duties. In 1951, after being damaged during the war, the house and estate came under the ownership of the National Trust.

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