Stephen Salter

Place of Birth
Oxford, Isle of Wight

  • Birth date            April-June 1862 at Oxford
  • Marriage              18 April 1893 to Florence Catherine Hart at St Mary, Reading
  • Death date          19 September 1956        

Stephen Salter (1862-1956) has no connection with Greater Manchester save that he took as a pupil Edwards Adams (qv) who later moved to Manchester to work for Harry Fairhurst. However, personal details are confusing. Notwithstanding the entry in the Directory of British Architects, it is clear that he was unrelated to another architect also named Stephen Salter (1826-1896) whose son, Stephen Thomas Salter, practised as a surgeon and physician.

Stephen Salter was born in the south of Oxford (that part on the south side of Folly Bridge in the Abingdon registration district) in 1862, and was the son of Stephen Salter senior and Emma Salter his wife. In 1858 Stephen Salter senior (1834-1937) in partnership with his brother John Salter (1826-1890) boat builders and leisure boat proprietors had moved from London to establish Kings Boat Yard at Folly Bridge, Oxford. For a time, they also operated a second yard at Eton. Boats built by Salters ranged from those used in the University Boat Race to College barges, cabin cruisers and passenger boats, some of which they themselves operated and continue to operate on the Thames.  As Simon Wenham noted “By 1875, both brothers had achieved sufficient success to provide each of them with a modest fortune. Stephen had worked so hard in the process that his doctor advised him to retire from the business as it was having a detrimental effect on his health.' As a result he stopped working at the age of only forty to 'enjoy his remaining years' which turned out to be sixty-two years of retirement. He relocated to the Isle of Wight and when he died in 1937, he was remembered more for being a 'great breeder of fancy pigeons' rather than one of the founders of the Oxford-based boat firm.”


In 1877 Stephen Salter was articled to Codd of Oxford. Returning to the family home on the Isle of Wight he established a modest practice and in 1893 entered into partnership with Robert Clifton Davy of Maidenhead. About 1900 Salter and Davy established a new office in Oxford, having obtained a commission for 2-3 High Street. Stephen Salter “disappeared” from the RIBA Kalendar by 1915, and is assumed to have given up his Oxford office by this date, retiring to the family home on the Isle of Wight. His last known work was the south chapel and south aisle of St Peter’s Church, Seaview, Isle of Wight, added in 1920 as a memorial to the men of the village who had fallen in the 1914-1918 war.

On 18 April 1893, a year after being elected a Fellow of the RIBA, Stephen Salter married Florence Catherine, daughter of Robert Francis Hart. He was 31, she 20 years old. Their first daughter, Ina Florence Salter, was born in 1894, their second daughter Joan Holton (or Houlton) Slater, was born October-December 1901 and their son Cedric S Salter in 1906. Joan married secretly on 5 July 1924, Chandos Sydney Cedric Brudenell-Bruce, Lord Cardigan, later 7th Marquess of Ailesbury. As Lady Cardigan, she died on 24 July 1937 by jumping from a seventh-floor window of the Savoy Hotel. At the inquest into her death, Lord Cardigan claimed that her mother, Florence Catherine, had also committed suicide.

1893-1905    Robert Clifton Davy

1892    53, Union Street Ryde, Isle of Wight
1900    Davy and Salter, architects. High-street, Maidenhead
1903    Davy and Salter, architects, offices at Oxford, Ryde, Maidenhead
1906    Davy and Salter 31 Hart Street, Henley on-Thames (CHECK)
1906    Stephen Salter FRIBA, High Street, Oxford
1913    Carfax (Chambers, High Street) Oxford (RIBA Kalendar)

1891    Stephen Salter, Pondwell House, Ryde, Isle of Wight (Letter from Stephen Salter, junior, Pondwell, Nr. Ryde, I.W., to Lady Oglander)
1911    St Aldate, Oxford (census)
1913    Stephen Salter, Pondwell House, Ryde, Isle of Wight
1914    Park Crescent Oxford
1924    Stephen Salter, Pondwell House, Ryde, Isle of Wight
1956    Albion Villa The Diggings St Helens Isle of Wight (probate)

Reference    See also - Wikipedia entry Stephen Salter Architect
Reference    Additional information Stephanie Jenkins by e-mail