A Brief History of Salomons
The name of this historic house perpetuates the memory of the two remarkable men who were largely responsible for its creation. In 1829 the first Sir David Salomons bought "a very elegant small villa" set in extensive grounds and known at the time as Broomhill. Sir David soon set about converting his new property into a substantial country house.
On his death in 1873, the First Sir David was succeeded by his nephew, David Lionel Salomons, who was an electrician, an engineer and a craftsman in wood, ivory and metal and an accomplished photographer. Acting as his own architect throughout (with the exception of The Stables), he threw himself into a programme of further extensions and additions which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War.
In 1876 the Water Tower was completed and in 1882 the workshops. Next came The Stables and in 1894 work was commenced on The Theatre - the largest privately constructed Theatre in England at the time, to which he attached a photographic studio, dark rooms and a chemical laboratory. This work was completed within two years. The last building works to be undertaken were the garages, the library (now the Dining Room) and the top storey of the main house. Throughout, Salomons employed local labour, stone from a local quarry and bricks made on the Estate.
By 1896 a dynamo had been installed to provide Broomhill with electricity for 1,000 16 candle power lights. Broomhill was the first building in the country to use electricity for cooking and other domestic work.
In 1938 the name of Broomhill was changed to David Salomons House when it was presented to Kent County Council by Vera Bryce Salomons - the last surviving daughter of Sir David Lionel. Residential facilities were subsequently developed with the construction of two accommodation buildings, named Broomhill and Greenwich. Broomhill was later converted to offices and Greenwich was refurbished in 1997 to provide en-suite single, twin and double rooms available for guests using the House facilities. Salomons was divested to Canterbury Christ Church College. The Greenwich residential accommodation at Salomons was subsequently re-named Canterbury House and in February 1999 Salomons changed its corporate identity in line with Canterbury's. The College became a University College in October 1999 and achieved full University status (Canterbury Christ Church University) in 2005.
More history at: www.salomonscentre.org.uk/history