Saltram comes to life with the Parkers at play

On the evening of Friday 14 June and Friday 12 July, National Trust’s Saltram House near Plymouth will create an evening of entertainment spanning 250 years, from the Georgians to the Jazz Age.

‘Parkers at play’ will see staff and volunteers donning period dress to give visitors a unique insight into the Parker family’s hobbies, pastimes and conversations. These have been taken from original correspondence and documents revealing daily life at Saltram throughout the centuries. Many of the costumes have been made by the Saltram volunteer costume group, ‘Stitched Up!’, and are a spectacle, in themselves.

As the audience moves through Saltram’s stunning rooms, characters from the past will come to life to reveal a diverse number of scenes. These include: choosing dresses for the London season; dealing with a stroppy Georgian teenager; eavesdropping on the men after dinner; taking a dip in the river; hot air ballooning; and enjoying the heady effect of ‘Steaming Bishop’, a type of mulled wine or punch. The audience will also get to meet the real Indiana Jones and, finally, they will be honoured with a guest appearance by the fascinating Lady Astor. 

Some of the rooms will be lit with candles to evoke the atmosphere of evenings long before electricity was installed.  At the end of your journey through the past there will be an opportunity to have a glass of wine and mingle with the cast to find out what it feels like to don the clothes and speak the actual words of Saltram’s previous inhabitants.

The event has been created by members of Saltram’s volunteer Tour Guide and Research Group and is based on extensive research into the house’s history. Visitor Experience Manager, Fiona Macmillan, says: ‘To see the house full of colour and movement, and for it to feel lived in again, is an amazing experience. One of the really fantastic things about the evening will be feeling as though you have travelled back in time and are eavesdropping on family life which is such a privilege and not to be missed.’

‘Parkers at Play’ is running in four sessions; at 6.30, 6.45, 7.00 and 7.15pm. Tickets cost £10 per person and booking is essential on 01752 333500. For more details about upcoming events at Saltram visit

£10 per person, including refreshments