Saltaire is one of Bradford’s hidden gems. Whether you’re a regular visitor to Saltaire or you’ve never been, the current heatwave makes it the perfect time to visit.
A fascinating history
Saltaire takes its name from its founder, Sir Titus Salt and the River Aire, which runs through the village.
In 1853, having made his fortune in the mills of Bradford, Titus Salt commissioned the model mill town of Saltaire to provide housing and facilities for his mill workers. There were 824 houses in the village, accommodating 4,500 people. Everyone living in the village worked in the Mill and your tenancy depended upon your continued work there – if you lost your job, you lost your house.
The whole village, including worker’s houses and the public buildings was completed in 25 years and Sir Titus lived to see the finished result in 1876, the year he died aged 73 years old.
Transformation of the Mill
In 1987 Jonathan Silver, a young entrepreneur who had made his money from selling designer clothes through a chain of fashionable men’s shops throughout the north (if you are of a certain age you may well have been the proud owner of one of his coveted suits!) was looking for a new challenge and bought Salts Mill.
The mill was in a dilapidated state but Jonathan could see the building’s potential, and transformed it into retail and commercial units and an art gallery.
The work done by Jonathan Silver in bringing Salts Mill back to life must have played a large part in Saltaire village becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in December 2001.
Today, Saltaire is a popular commuter village for young professionals and families. Only a short journey from Leeds and Bradford, with its own railway station, good road links and many buy to let properties. Property is in high demand here and unsurprisingly doesn’t stay on the market for long.
Summer in Saltaire
There are many reasons you should visit Saltaire from the spectacular architecture as you wander around the village, to the independent shops and restaurants scattered around the village, and summer is the perfect opportunity to see the town in its full glory.