Wednesday, 22 August 2018

A Day Out to Saltaire

Saltaire railway station

In writing my Language of Stone Blog, it is in part an extended, illustrated CV but, mostly, it highlights the very many places with broad Geoheritage value that I have visited for pleasure and which I think would be of interest to like-minded tourists – travelling solely by public transport. 

At Saltaire World Heritage Site

Having revisited Pontefract to look at the Pontefract Castle magazine on the late May Bank Holiday this year, I had to wait another month before I took a trip to Saltaire, an outstanding example of a model village built by Sir Titus Salt, which is now a World Heritage Site

Titus Street in Saltaire

I briefly visited it once before, 20 years ago, when visiting Bradford on the train but – on a flying visit – I only had the time to take a quick look at Salt’s Mill, where I unexpectedly discovered an exhibition by David Hockney, whose work that I previously seen at the South Bank in London. 

Information for tourists at Saltaire

This time, I spent 4 hours taking a good look at the whole site which, from its most basic almshouses and terraced houses to the various institutional buildings and the Congregational Church, contain numerous fine examples of architecture built out of the locally quarried Rough Rock – a geological formation that has been widely quarried for building stone in West Yorkshire

The geology around Saltaire and Shipley

One of the very few remaining quarries in this geological formation, at Crosland Hill in Huddersfield, has supplied stone for several developments in Sheffield - at Sheffield Peace Gardens, Tudor Square and Sheaf Square amongst others - and the coarse variety known as Bramley Fall stone was used at Kirkstall Abbey and extensively for bridge and dockyard construction throughout the UK during the 19th century.

The River Aire at Saltaire

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