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Kings Saltern (Lymington)

Conservation Area

Kings Saltern King's Saltern conservation area is at the southern edge of Lymington close to the river and salt marshes. The area is entirely residential except for the Mayflower Hotel. The earliest buildings are from the later 18th century, with buildings also from every part of the 19th century. A small number of buildings are listed. Salterns and Crookham Cottages on King's Saltern Road are a pair of 18th century cottages with clay tile hanging and fine sash windows. On Bath Road, early 19th century Waterford Cottage faces the river. Further south on King's Saltern Road, Harpers Marsh and Reach, built in 1839, stands out through the trees with its first floor balcony facing the marsh and marinas beyond. Visually, the buildings retain their relationship with the river and adjacent marshy land. King's Saltern Road still has an attractive semi-rural feel, flanked by trees and hedges and old cottages and without pavements.

Originally Bath and King's Saltern Roads were lanes passing along the edge of the river or tidal marsh. The edge of the river has since receded and been formalised with a hard edge, protecting against erosion and allowing land to be reclaimed. This old waterside route is lined with buildings which are largely of a mid 19th century period or earlier. It is probable that both the humbler and the more sophisticated earlier riverside cottages were occupied by people who had a connection through employment with the river or sea. This is certainly the case in the group of coastguard buildings which would have been located as near as possible to the waters they had to patrol.

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These are key features in the conservation area:

  • The distinguished group of buildings at the junction of Westfield and King's Saltern Roads were built for coastguards families, and were presumably commissioned. The cottages and houses all have the same detailing, with gabled slate roofs, pointed arches to window openings and polychromatic red and buff brickwork. They visually and historically form an important group in the area.
  • King's Saltern Road has an attractive rural feel, bounded by hedges and trees from the junction with Stanley Road to the south.
  • The view from the end of Bath Road up King's Saltern Road is especially attractive with cottages of character on one side, and a dominant spreading cedar tree on the other. There is a feeling of enclosure here where cottages hem in towards the road which at this point has no pavements.

These are some of the things that make King's Saltern special - they need to be looked after:

  • History
    The relationship between Bath and King's Saltern Roads and the edge of the river and the tidal marsh.
    The special character of the purpose built coastguard buildings, Old Coastguard Cottages, Old Coastguard House and Watch Cottage, sited close to the lower reaches of the Lymington River.
  • Buildings
    The elegant Grade II listed Harpers Marsh and Reach, built circa 1839, with slate roof, decorative chimney pots and Gothic paned casement windows.
    The design and detailing of the coastguard buildings.
    Salterns and Crookham cottages, Grade II listed, on the corner of King's Saltern Road, with warm red tile hanging.
    Early 19th century Waterford Cottage on Bath Road also Grade II listed.
    Old Cottage Inn, which is an attractive building of real merit.
  • Landscape/townscape
    The Recreation Ground on Bath Road has a municipal quality about it, with play area, bandstand and a listed drinking fountain of 1885. Most of the area is laid to grass.
    The trees are particularly important, acting as focal points in longer distance views along the street, or framing views, or helping to provide a sense of scale to the smaller cottages. They include the willow by the entrance to Solent Cottage on Bath Road, the cedar at Bath Lodge, which has a particularly graceful and stylised spreading form.
    The rural feel of King's Saltern Road, narrow at the Bath Road end and buffered further along by the marshy land adjacent.
  • Setting
    The recreation ground and particularly its boundary wall with the river and yacht pontoons, prevents there being a clear visual link between the Lymington River and Bath Road, at least at ground level. There would once have been a much more obvious connection when the cottages were truly waterside properties. Nonetheless the link remains important and the quality of alterations and development on Bath Road has to be considered from the river also.
    Within the area, the view from the end of Bath Road up King's Saltern Road is especially attractive with cottages of character on one side, and the dominant spreading cedar tree on the other.
    Marshy land separates the rural feel of King's Saltern Road from the marina development. It complements the character of the lane and also acts as a foil to the buildings including Harpers Marsh and Reach.
  • Potential for enhancement
    The front parking area to the Mayflower Hotel would benefit from some appropriate form of boundary definition (wall and/or hedge) with the highway, and not just the flower tubs that serve that purpose at present.
Updated: 1 May 2015
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