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Visiting Saltaire - Bradford West Yorkshire

Leeds Liverpool canal at SaltaireSaltaire was created by Sir Titus Salt in the nineteenth century as a "model village" for his workforce who worked at his textile mills.

Titus SaltTitus Salt was born at Morley on 20th September 1803. His family were successful in the textile business and in 1833 he ran the family company.

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 system.

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.

Salts millThe 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.

SaltaireOver 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.Titus Salt's Tombestone

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.

Titus Salts United Reformed Church at SaltaireThe 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. Inside Titus Salts United Reformed Church at Saltaire

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...

Salts MillIn 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...1853 Gallery - David Hockney

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. Street map here...


Shipley / Saltaire
About Saltaire
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