The Salston Manor Hotel is set in the beautiful Otter Valley, only a short distance from Ottery St Mary. For many years guests came to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Devon countryside with all the convenience of modern living in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Its beautiful location and comfortable rooms allowed visitors to enjoy all kinds of benefits and its convenient location, almost right in the centre of East Devon made it an ideal base to explore the delights of the area.
As a family run hotel, it started life as a family home and retained all the charm of a country house and comfort of a home. There are five and a half acres of grounds that guests could enjoy and the hotel also benefited from an indoor swimming pool, a sauna and solarium for days when it was raining.
At one time it was the home of William Hart Coleridge, nephew of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. William was the retired Bishop of Barbados and the Leeward Islands where he had worked hard and zealously for sixteen years. In 1841 he became ill and was forced to retire so he settled at Salston House, which later became the hotel. William died suddenly at the house on the 21st December 1849.
In more modern times, Elisabeth Svendsen moved here with her husband in 1966 to run the hotel and in 1969 she purchased her first donkey. One thing led to another and she set up the Donkey Sanctuary to help to care for neglected donkeys.
For a time the squash court was the home of the Ottery St Mary Heritage Society's Museum but when the hotel closed in 2007 the museum became homeless. During this period there was a fire engine rally held in the grounds where beautifully restored and cared for vintage fire engines were on show. Nowadays, the rally is held at Escot.
Now, sadly, the hotel is closed and it's really sad to see the security fencing that blocks the entrances. It's a shame that such a beautiful, historic building is standing empty. At one time there were discussions about turning it into a residential care home but these plans seem to have stalled in the current economic climate.
Urbanexboi has been to visit this place more recently and was digusted to see that the whole insides have now been ripped out and the cielings filled with expanding foam and plastic sheeting. The old cielings have been torn down.