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The story of The Salutation

The Salutation house and gardens was originally a market garden and pub (from which the house derives its name), before Sir Edwin Lutyens got to work on it between 1911 and 1912. He transformed the site into a retreat for the three Farrer brothers: William, Henry and Gaspard, which they used to escape the noise and bustle of London and enjoy some fresh air.

In fact, legend has it that they chose the site for the combination of the fumes from nearby gasworks and the sea air, seen at the time as a great reliever of the symptoms of asthma.

The brothers continued to enjoy The Salutation until their deaths, as bachelors, after which the property was sold to Leonard Bing in 1945. It was his family’s home until the mid seventies, and was well looked after and open for charity. It was then sold again to Peter Dixon, a city banker working for Lloyds, after which the gardens were opened and went through a short renaissance period. However, the restoration wasn’t particularly faithful to Lutyens, nor was it very long-lasting. The gardens soon closed and fell into disrepair.

Along with the gardens, the house itself went through a tough 30 years or so. There were many owners, several of which tried to turn the property into houses. In the late 80s a Nigerian prince reputedly owned The Salutation, and was so obsessed with his privacy that he allowed the trees and hedges to overgrow and shade out parts of the garden, causing a lot of damage.

Finally, in 2003, we took over and began an extensive restoration of the house and gardens. It’s been a huge priority of ours to retain the original Lutyens vision but we’ve also tried to instil our own personalities into the property, and allow our Head Gardener Steve Edney a free creative reign.

Today, the house and three cottages in the grounds are run as a hotel and the garden is open to the public with rare plant collections and a specialist nursery.

We hope to see you here soon!

Steph and Dom Parker

 

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