Rural setting for industrial achievements
Standing proudly in the broad floodplain of West Yorkshire’s Aire valley is a monument to one man’s vision and care for his workers. Surrounded by moorland and fields, the village of Saltaire is a proud reminder of how the best Victorian manufacturing was combined with philanthropy.
Rows of pale yellow stone workers’ cottages sit in the shadow of the imposing architecture of Salts Mill. Gardens are filled with spring flowers, bringing a burst of the natural world into what was a hub of industrial activity for more than 150 years. This mile-long circular walk gives a taste of what life was like for the cloth mill workers fortunate to earn their living at Salts Mill. It encompasses the mill, the impressive United Reformed Church, the factory school and Victoria Hall, as well as the labourers’ homes.
Extending the walk a further three miles, along the tree-lined Leeds and Liverpool Canal to nearby Bingley, leads to another industrial wonder. This is Five Rise Locks, the steepest staircase of interlinking locks in Britain.
The full feature of the walk around Saltaire to Five Rise Locks originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of LandScape.
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