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Explain the Development of Saltram House, a Devon Country House, Between 1743 and 1788.

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Introduction

Explain the Development of Saltram House, a Devon Country House, Between 1743 and 1788. Saltram House is an 18th Century country house in Plympton, Devon. It is situated next to the river Plym. The Bagg family, who moved from Dorset to Plymouth in the early 16th century, built Saltram House in the late Tudor period. In about 1660 ownership of Saltram was passed to the Carteret family, who, in 1690 built the three-story block on the west side of the house. In 1712 the house was sold to George Parker of Boringdon. He made few changes to Saltram apart from enclosing 220 acres of its grounds as a deer park. George Parker died in 1743 and his son, John Parker, inherited the house. He constructed the three facades. John Parker died in 1768 and the house then became the property of his son, John Parker II, better known as Lord Boringdon, who contributed a great deal to the interior of the house. He also built the Stable block, castle, orangery and chapel. John Parker II was a great socialite, and had many important friends such as the artist, Joshua Reynolds, and the architect, Robert Adam. ...read more.

Middle

Although Saltram is grand the style of the house is very simple, this is because Saltram, like many other country houses of the time is very symmetrical. There are the same numbers of windows and chimneys on each wing of the house. On the west wing some windows were even blocked out to make the house look symmetrical. This was also useful because you didn't have to pay tax on fake windows. To add detail to the house there are cornices along the bottom edge of the roofs. These too are symmetrical. Houses such as Lyme Park have symmetrical arches and Chiswick house has symmetrical staircases leading to the house. People liked to use symmetry because it represented stability and harmony and as a result symmetry was a very typical feature of 18th century country houses. Symmetry was also a style used in Roman architecture. The Roman Empire was extremely powerful and so Roman styles were used on country houses to represent power, and to perhaps remind them of the growing power of the British Empire. The classical era had great influence on the design of Saltram. ...read more.

Conclusion

The same a-typical gothic windows are used in the chapel. The orangery would have been used to grow citrus fruits. This would again have showed the wealth of the Parker family. Fanny's bower would have been used as a place for people to retreat to during dinner parties in the orangery. Fanny's bower has Doric columns and a pediment- more typical features of this time. It was necessary to have grand outbuildings and grounds to impress visitors and show them your wealth. Many of the features of Saltram's grounds are very typical of the 18th century. It has outbuildings, a ha-ha, stables, large parkland and beautiful views. Saltram does however have some a-typical features. Many houses of the time had fake temples and a ruined castle; Saltram does not have either of these. Saltram has no lake because it is on the banks of a river, but not having a lake is also an a-typical feature of this time. Many house of the time also had long, straight drives leading up to a grand entrance. However, the landscape surrounding Saltram forced visitors to approach Saltram from the back of the house. This meant that guests saw the servant's quarters first. This is another a-typical feature at Saltram. All of these points explain the development of Saltram house. ...read more.

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