Original features

June 11, 2009

In 1829, Sir David Salomons - who later became the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London - bought a small villa in Tunbridge Wells and converted it into a country house.

The house, called Broomhill, was greatly expanded by his nephew and heir, Sir David Lionel Salomons, a photographer, engineer and early expert on motor mechanics.

It was he who added the water tower, workshops, stables, garages, library (now used as a dining room) and what was then the largest privately constructed theatre in England.

It also became the first property in the country to use electricity for domestic purposes.

Broomhill's name was changed to David Salomons House when it was given to Kent County Council by Sir David Lionel's last surviving daughter, Vera Bryce Salomons, in 1938.

It was used as a women's convalescent home and then as a training centre for a regional health authority.

In 1996, it became one of the five sites making up Canterbury Christ Church College, which gained full university status in 2005.

The Salomons Campus now houses centres specialising in education, leadership, consultancy and career development, as well as the Salomons Museum.

It is also a popular venue for conferences, weddings and concerts, which can make use of the campus' magnificently restored Welte Organ.

Send suggestions for this architectural series to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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