Saltaire is a complete and well-preserved industrial village of the second half of the 19th century, created by industrialist Titus Salt for the maximum benefit of his workers.
The architectural and engineering quality of the complete ensemble, comprising the exceptionally large and unified Salt’s Mill buildings and the New Mill; the hierarchical employees’ housing, the Dining Room, Congregational Church, almshouses, hospital, school, institute and Roberts Park – all built in a 25-year building spree.
Its textile mills, public buildings and workers’ housing are built in a harmonious style of high architectural standards and the urban plan survives intact, giving a vivid impression of Victorian philanthropic paternalism, which in turn had a profound influence on developments in industrial social welfare and urban planning in the United Kingdom and beyond – including Italy and the United States.
When Salts Mill opened in 1853, it was the biggest factory in the world. 3000 workers toiled away at 1200 looms, producing 30,000 yards of cloth every single day. Today part of the old factory is home to the world’s largest permanent collection of art by David Hockney, who is from the area.