An early C20 formal garden with an architectural structure designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens which has been given additional formal and informal features in the late C20.
The Salutation and the architectural outline of its garden were designed and built in 1911-12 by Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) to a commission from Henry Farrer, one of three batchelor sons of Sir William Farrer who was an eminent solicitor and an admirer of Lutyens. No records exist of the garden having been planted by Gertrude Jekyll (Brown 1982). On the death of Henry Farrer, The Salutation passed to his brother Gaspard and then on his death in 1948 it was acquired by Mr Leonard Byng. In 1977 it was purchased by Mrs S Dixon who, with her husband, ran it as the Salutation House and Garden Company. With their head gardener, they made considerable additions to the garden and also ran a small nursery on the site. In the early 1980s the house became the subject of several planning applications for change of use and development but was eventually purchased by Mr Michael Older. It remains (1998) in private hands.
LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING
The Salutation stands at the eastern end of Upper Strand Street, between Knightrider Street (to the west) and Sandown Road (to the south). On the north side it lies adjacent to the Quay alongside the River Stour. The c 1.2ha registered site, which is in the form of an east to west rectangle with a triangular projection to the south, lies on level ground and is enclosed along the north, west, and south boundaries by walls of flint, old stone, and brick; these were probably built by Lutyens (listed building description). The east end of the rectangle is enclosed by a raised embankment planted with trees and shrubs. Beyond the site are domestic and industrial buildings of Sandwich including, to the south, St Clement's church.
ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
The entrance to The Salutation is on Knightrider Street to the west, through an entrance arch with timber gates and surmounted by a deep cornice which Lutyens formed within a range of two-storey C18 brick buildings. These included the present cottage on the south side (now known as Knightrider House) and the gatehouse to the north. The ensemble (listed grade II) forms a focus when viewed from Upper Strand Street. The archway leads into the south-west corner of a broad, rectangular forecourt which extends northwards along the entire west, entrance front of the house. At the north end of the forecourt is a further range of cottages, of C17 origin (listed grade II) and in use as living accommodation and storage.
The Salutation (listed grade I) stands some 30m east of its entrance off Knightrider Street, its principal, west-facing door surmounted by a carved pediment and reached by a flight of stone steps flanked by curved iron balustrades. The principal block is rectangular in plan and of two storeys with an attic and semi-basement and is built of red brick with long and short stone quoins and a hipped, tiled roof. The west front has seven windows, of which the central three project in the form of a bay, while the front is framed by two pairs of gate piers, to north and south, which are connected to it by wing walls. The house was built in 1911-12 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Henry Farrer and his brothers. Adjoining on the north side, but set back slightly, is a single-storey wing built originally as servants' accommodation; this was converted to form a separate dwelling in the 1960s but later in the C20 was returned to single ownership.
GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS
The gardens extend along two axes from the house: eastwards into the rectangular section and southwards into the triangle. On the east front axis, French windows open onto a broad brick and stone-paved terrace from which a wide flight of stone steps leads down onto a 100m long grassed walk which terminates at the embankment on the eastern boundary. The walk is flanked by wide mixed borders, each backed by a line of wooden towers supporting roses and other climbers and by a further band of open grass. The borders were originally enclosed on their outer edges by a line of trees (photograph, in Weaver 1913), these being replaced by the towers between 1977 and 1981 (contemporary photograph, in Brown 1982). North of the axial borders is an informal water garden with a curving lake and island, a hump-backed bridge, and a fountain, the whole garden abundantly planted with trees and shrubs, herbaceous plants, and aquatics. This feature was added by the Dixons between 1977 and 1981 to replace an informal planting of trees and an area laid out for kitchen garden use shown on a plan (nd) used to illustrate the garden layout in Country Life in 1962. Along the south side of the north boundary wall is a shelter belt of holm oak dating from the early C20. Immediately to its south, either side of a parallel brick path, are mixed borders also laid out and planted by the Dixons (CL 1983). Some 20m to the south of the axial borders is a further, parallel, axial walk, designed as a brick path lined by an avenue of seven pairs of drum-shaped clipped holm oaks. These are shown on the garden plan published in Country Life in 1962 and appear as mature specimens in a photograph of that date. The brick path continues westwards along the south front of the house to emerge at the southern pair of framing gate piers on the west front, thus forming both an axial view into the garden from the main entrance arch and a visual and physical link between the garden on the east front and that on the south.
The south front is laid out to a 60m long rectangular bowling green enclosed by clipped yew hedges which are recessed on the long sides to contain rose beds and which form an apse at the southern end. The tower of St Clement's church forms the focus of a vista from the house. From the apse, short lengths of path lead south-westwards into a further, circular hedged enclosure laid out with a geometric pattern of paving and rose beds. On the west side of the bowling green, and approached from the south end of the entrance forecourt through an opening in a yew hedge, is the garden of the gatehouse cottage which is laid to lawn dotted informally with trees. A path leads from its southern end into the rose garden. East of the bowling green, an area shown on the garden plan as lawn with informal tree planting was laid out between 1977 and 1981 as an Italian Garden with formal geometric beds planted with bedding (photograph, CL 1983).
L Weaver, Houses and Gardens by E L Lutyens (1913), pp 256-60
Country Life, 132 (13 September 1962), pp 564-7; (20 September 1962), pp 650-4; 170 (10 September 1981), p 849; 174 (1 September 1983), pp 506-08
J Newman, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent (1969), p 436
J Brown, Gardens of a Golden Afternoon (1982), p 110
OS 25" to 1 mile: 2nd edition published 1898
3rd edition published 1907
Description written: August 1998
Register Inspector: VCH
Edited: February 2004