Salts Mill and Saltaire is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must visit if you are visiting the region.
Saltaire Village takes its name from Titus Salt and the River Aire, which runs through the village. Titus Salt made his money from textiles, but moved his factory and workforce from the polluted city centre to the greener pastures of Saltaire, working on the principle of a happier, healthier workforce would lead to increased production.
Salt commissioned local architects to design and build a community in a classical style, so the village was styled on the Italian Resaissance with building such as the United Reform Church standing out distinctively from the Main Mill and cobbled streets.
We will be taken around the site by a local guide, who will explain the history of the area and why UNESCO recognized it for its international influence on town planning and as one of the best preserved 19th Century “new towns”.
There will be time before lunch for a short circular stroll from Saltaire through Shipley Glen and back along the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Back in Saltaire, there is plenty to see and do in Salts Mill from lunch in the relaxed Salts Diner to looking round the speciality shops and bookstore.
Salts Mill closed for textile production in 1986, but was rescued by local entrepreneur Jonathan Silver, who bought the Mill and turned it into an Art Gallery. There is also a permanent Exhibition of his friend David Hockney’s work which attracts thousands of visitors a year and is a reminder of the power of one of Britain’s greatest living painters.
This is a must see place – there is plenty enough to keep you busy for the day, but can be combined with a trip to Bradford’s Industrial Museum where we can explore the history of worsteds and textile production the region is famous for and see working machines in the Mill taking you back to Victorian times.