Updated: Sep 15
Titus Salt (1803 – 1876) is the brainchild and entrepreneur behind the UNESCO village of Saltaire. He built the village to ensure his workers were suitably housed, thereby able to lead happy and healthy lives. To reciprocate the men and women who worked in the mill saw that it functioned efficiently and the fabrics produced were of a fine quality. The mill is now the home of art works by David Hockney, born in nearby Bradford.
The village is set in the Aire valley by the Aire River and a beautiful park runs alongside, complete with café and bandstand. Canada geese enjoyed the April showers whilst I was there, but I took refuge from the rain in the Boathouse Inn to enjoy a pint of local ale.
There are shops, selling typical Yorkshire fare and restaurants and well maintained Victorian two storey, sandstone houses, some beautifully decorated with stained glass windows.
All the buildings were constructed to high architectural standards of the age and other industrial areas, both in the UK and worldwide, followed Salt’s example.
He is buried in the church he funded for just over £16,000. In 1972 it became the United Reformed Church and at the time of visiting it was under renovation and wasn’t open.
The village is accessible by train, bus and bicycle. There is plenty of place to park and as the weather wasn’t the best I didn’t take a trip down the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, but would return to this village at a more conducive time of the year as it certainly deserves its UNESCO status and is worth a trip outside the busy cities of Leeds, Manchester and Bradford.
As this is still a working village it is free to enter and I have to say kudos to all those who live and work there, maintaining the excellence of the village for visitors and future generations. Town planners today could learn a few things from Titus Salt and his visionary village of Saltaire.
Not far from Saltaire is Pontefract Castle. Check out my blog about this little gem: