World Landmarks Wildlife

Saltaire Shipley

Saltaire is a Victorian model village in Shipley, part of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District, in West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

Sir Titus Salt, a businessman who made textiles from alpaca wool, set it up in 1853 as a model village for his workers. The hamlet was built next to big woolen mills along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

It was named for its founder, Salt, and for the river nearby, Aire. Its strong row houses are still there. Shipley, which is an industrial and residential suburb of Bradford, is the closest large modern town.


The Salt’s Mill and the Victorian neighborhood next to it, which is near the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, are an important part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

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Saltaire History

Sir Titus Salt, a well-known maker of woolen goods in Yorkshire, started Saltaire in 1851. The name of the town comes from the founder’s last name and the name of the river.

Sir Salt moved his business, which was made up of five different mills, from Bradford to this area near Shipley.

So that he could organize his workers and put his big textile mill close to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the railroad. Francis Lockwood and William Mawson, two architects from the area, were hired by Salt.

Edward Akroyd in Copley and Henry Ripley in Ripley Ville both started similar, but much smaller, projects around the same time.

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In 1786, David Dale built New Lanark, a town with a cotton mill that is also a World Heritage site. Sir Salt built his workers nice stone homes that were much better than the slums in Bradford.

He also built wash-houses with running water, bath-houses, a hospital, and a place for fun and learning with a library, a reading room, a music hall, a billiard room, and a science lab.

There was a school for the children of the workers, as well as a boathouse, almshouses, allotments, a park, and a boathouse.

Recreational activities were also helped, like starting a drum and fife band for school-aged boys and a brass band for village men, which was the first version of the Hammonds Saltaire Band.

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The model town was an example of smart urban planning in the 1800s because it had great housing, jobs, entertainment, educational facilities, and social services.

In October 1872, the Japanese government sent a group called the Iwakura Mission to see modern industrial Britain.

Saltaire and the Dean Clough Mill near Halifax were two of the most interesting places they visited. Sir Titus died in 1876 and was buried next to the Congregational church in a mausoleum.

Sir Titus Salt’s son, Titus Salt Junior, died, and Saltaire was bought by a group led by Sir James Roberts of Haworth.

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Since he was 11 years old, Sir James Roberts worked in woolen mills. He had a lot of business interests in Russia and spoke Russian well.

Roberts bought Saltaire, but he lost some of his money during the Russian Revolution because he had put a lot of money into Russia.

He gave Leeds University a chair in Russian and bought the Bronts’ parsonage for the country. The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot talks about him.

Roberts is buried at Fairlight in East Sussex. In Saltaire, the park to the north of the river, which he gave to Bradford Council in 1920 and named Roberts Park after his son, is a reminder of his work.

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Saltaire hamlet was owned by the Mill until July 31, 1933, when Messrs. Salts (Saltaire) Ltd. sold it to the Bradford Property Trust Ltd.

In October 1933, the new owners made a deal with the Shipley Urban District Council to make improvements.

These included getting new gas lines, putting in mains electricity, and making sewage and sanitation better.

This included “a detailed plan to get rid of the toilet for waste water and the old way of storing coal and replace them with new buildings.”

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As part of the overall plan, 43 homes were torn down to make certain parts of the community easier to get to.

Saltaire Facts

As of December 2001, Saltaire is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that the government has a duty to protect the area.

The buildings in the model village are each protected in their own way, with the Congregational church (now called Saltaire United Reformed Church since 1972) getting the most protection (listed grade I).

The settlement has done a great job of staying alive, but it needs more protection because east-west traffic through the Aire Valley hurts it.

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A planned bypass would help get rid of traffic jams. The Bradford Council fixed up Roberts Park, which is on the north side of the river.

It had been ignored and vandalized in the past. In July 2014, it was reported that planning officials had made a list of new front doors that were “not in keeping with the historic character of the buildings.”

Saltaire is a place that is kept safe. Victoria Hall, which used to be called the Saltaire Institute, has a Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ and is used for meetings, community events, and performances. The Saltaire train station serves the neighborhood.

Saltaire Festival

The Saltaire Festival is held every year for eleven days in September. It began in 2003 to mark the 150th anniversary of Saltaire’s founding.

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The Saltaire Arts Trail is a visual arts event that takes place every year in May. It has events for the public like art shows, activities for kids, a Makers Fair, and open houses, where people open their homes and turn them into temporary art galleries.

Politically, Saltaire is part of the Shipley electoral ward of the City of Bradford, the Saltaire and Hirstwood ward of the Shipley Town Council, and the Shipley parliamentary constituency, which is currently represented by Philip Davies of the Conservative party.

From 1999 to 2005, Chris Leslie, who was a member of the House of Commons, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, who was a member of the House of Lords, and Richard Corbett, who was a member of the European Parliament, all lived in Saltaire.

Saltaire is surrounded by a buffer zone that is meant to protect the area around the World Heritage Site.

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Concerns have been raised after plans were made public by Bradford Council and Action Airedale to put a bypass through the buffer zone on each side of the World Heritage Site and tunnel under the settlement.

The tunnel would follow the path of the railroad and come out behind the United Reformed Church.

It would be close to the mill. This Conservation Area could be affected because it would go through the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The path would go through old woods that are still mostly natural, as well as the Woodland Garden of Remembrance at Nab Wood Cemetery.

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These days, Salts Mill

The Salts Mill textile mill stopped running in February 1986. The next year, Jonathan Silver bought the property and began to fix it up.

Today, it is used for a mix of business, living, and recreation. David Hockney, who was born in Bradford, has a lot of paintings, drawings, photo-montages, and stage sets in the 1853 art museum. His work is spread out over several large rooms.

ARRIS International plc, a company that makes electronics, is in the industrial sector (formerly Pace plc).

Several shops in 2006 sell books, art supplies, jewelry, outdoor gear, antiques, suits, bicycles, and housewares, some of which are made by famous designers like Alvar Aalto and Philippe Starck. There are restaurants and cafeterias.

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On the other side of the canal, the “New Mill” has both offices for the local NHS Trusts and apartments for people to live in.

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