Trip Photos Blog #4: Saltram House

Saltram House is an Georgian-era aristocratic house near Plymouth, originally owned the Parker family, eventually the Earls or Morley, but given up to the National Trust in 1957.  The furniture and other contents were given up with it, so they too remain on the house, which is now open for visitors to tour.  Although that does necessitate some of the rooms being kept relatively dark to preserve them, enough so that I wasn’t able to photograph everything.

Although even before buying tickets in what had once been the stables, one is treated to the sight of a duck pond, filled with a crazy amount of ducks of different types:


The ducks can fill the adjoining cobblestones too:


After buying tickets, one then gets in by going through the stableyard:


In order to control the number of people who are in the house at once, the tickets give you a specific time to go into the house.  During the half hour we had to wait, we went walking on the grounds, which included lanes of great trees:


Also plenty of flowering plants:


There was also an orangery, in which the Parkers once showed off their wealth by growing orange trees and being able to offer oranges to their guests.  The building itself was empty at the time, but they had trees outside, one which you could see baby oranges growing:


Between the trees there is a “Magic Urn” which is supposed to act as a fountain, but it was out of commission due to problems with the water pump; “The Magic Urn has lost its magic” explains the sign:


Just outside the house doors, livestock was grazing:


Finally we got into the house.  In the opening room was a picture of the second John Parker, the 1st Lord Boringdon, whose grandfather first bought the house, and whose son was the first Earl of Morley:


Otherwise the foyer favored marble, in both its fireplace(something which most of the rooms had, England being a cold place) and ceiling, and there was a statue as well:



Indeed, the Earls had a lot of paintings in the house, many imitations of famous artists, or portraits by a certain Sir Joshua Reynolds, a famous portrait artist.  They were heavily on display downstairs, although not necessarily where they were originally hung.  Some I’d even seen prints of before:

An imitation of the Raphael fresco The Triumph of Galatea, which I grew up looking at in one of my Greco-Roman mythology books

An imitation of the Raphael fresco The Triumph of Galatea, which I grew up looking at in one of my Greco-Roman mythology books

More paintings:


But some of the fanciest stuff around was the furniture:


Including a gaming table that had cards carved and painted onto it:


Cards quite literally on the table.

One room that had to be kept darker, so there was only enough light to get decent photographs of the top and the bottom:


The dining room had a similar color makeup and ceiling:


As well as the fancy dishware, the dining table was decorated by a model of the Parthenon made entirely of sugar, to suggest the kind of extravagances that would have been on the table in earlier centuries:


But after passing through the dining room, one was brought into a pair of rooms that served as the kitchen.  Here things were not so fancy; here was where the servants toiled:


The wear and tear of the walls visible in these rooms illustrated the rough lives of those who supported the lifestyle of the rich and powerful with their sweat:


Two high ranked servants had rooms to themselves above the kitchen, accessible by a steep staircase:


They also had fireplaces, though the plainness and them and rooms both stand in sharp contrast to those built for the comfort of the family:


A courtyard by the kitchen:


The stairwell that led up to the family’s bedrooms was a grander affair, with a chandelier that hung from the second floor ceiling over the first floor:


The rooms belonging to the lady of house were a display in Orientalism, another display of wealth:


Some more objects in the suite:


An adjoining room, which an old pianoforte:


The master bedroom:


The Earl had a bathtub as well in the next room:


The top floor was rounded out by the study, which was also an Orientalist affair:


The cabinet shelves were filled with political tracts, a relic from the family’s history of being involved in politics:


The room just below was done up with the same wallpaper, and had a lot of porcelain on display:


The final room we came to was the library:


Among all the other books, amusingly, was a biography of the guy responsible for a number of the house’s paintings:


A modern radiator was also there, presumably to help keep the room at an ideal temperature for preserving the books:


8 thoughts on “Trip Photos Blog #4: Saltram House

  1. Oh this is just delightful and wryly accurate. One wishes the place itself had more framing of the place as privileged.

    I’d like to add that there was also a room of clothes from the 18th century, many made by the staff in a club and you could try these clothes on, some for women and some for men.

  2. Your blogs grow better and better – if possible. I enjoy this one very much with all its details and your photos. I shall have to re-read it as it is full of information. Thank you very much: I feel the atmosphere of the house and may think I am with you visiting garden and house.
    I do love this blog. Thank you very much, Isobel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s