was created by Sir Titus Salt in the nineteenth century as a "model
village" for his workforce who worked at his textile mills.
Salt was born at Morley on 20th September 1803. His family were
successful in the textile business and in 1833 he ran the family
In Bradford where Titus Salt's mills were originally
located, there was generally poor health caused by the pollution
from mill chimneys and bad sanitation due to an inadequate sewerage
In 1848 Titus Salt became Mayor of Bradford.
During this time he campaigned to improve the pollution from mill
chimneys by using improved smoke burners that would significantly
cut down on the level of sulphur. He received little support from
fellow mill owners, in 1850 he decided to move out of Bradford and
build his own industrial community near to the river Aire and the
Leeds Liverpool canal. He named the site 'Saltaire' after himself.
mill (picture right) was built in 1853 and employed approximately
3000 workers. It was one of the most modern in Europe and boasted
many features such as improved smoke burners, flues to remove dust
and dirt and incorporating noisy machinery in the lower levels to
suppress the noise. The factory in full production had 1,200 looms
and could produce over 30,000 yards of cloth a day.
the next 20 years Titus Salt created over 800 houses for the workers
as well as shops, schools and improved health prevision; clean water
and bath houses and a hospital. Gas was supplied for lighting and
heating. Titus Salt was a keen and active reformer criticising the
reform acts which he felt did not go far enough in helping poor
people. However, he did not see any problem using children in his
mills and was against raising the working age to 9.
On 29th December 1876 Sir Titus Salt died, most
of his vast fortune had been used up. He is buried in the mausoleum
(picture right) at Saltaire United Reform Church.
church was built in 1859 and stands opposite the mill as a reminder
to the workers of its presence; no pubs or pawn shops were allowed
in the village.
The church was built by the architects Mawson
and Lockwood, streets are named after them as well as the names
of Salt's children. You can take a 360
degree tour inside the church here...
the 1980's Salts mill was in decline, it was purchased in 1987 by
Jonathen Silver who converted it into office, shops and the 1853
Hockney art galleries.
You can take a 360 degree tour outside Salts mill here...
David Hockney was born in Bradford in 1937 and
attended Bradford School of Art, he has lived in California for
most of his life but still has a fondness for the area and has made
drawings and paintings of the locality many times.
Saltaire is now a UNESCO world heritage site.