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Salt's Mill, Saltaire
Shipley, Saltaire, West Yorkshire, UK
associated engineer
Sir William Fairbairn
date  circa 1852 - 1853
era  Victorian  |  category  Factory/Industrial Plant  |  reference  SE139380
ICE reference number  HEW 87
A woollen mill complex built by Sir Titus Salt, who also built the village of Saltaire to house the mill workers and their families. The mill building was designed to be fire-resistant, and when completed it had the largest total floor area of any industrial building in the world.
The six storey main block is 166.1m long, 15.2m wide and 21.9m high. Its stone façade has two Italianate towers near the centre, with the engine house between. There are smaller towers at the ends of the building and long lines of tall square-headed windows on each floor. The upper floor is continuous over the engine house, and at the time was said to be the largest room in Europe.
Behind the main building there is a 100.6m long warehouse with a T-shaped crosspiece at its north end. On the east side of the warehouse is a 100.6m long single storey glass-roofed weaving shed built to house 1,200 looms. On the west side there is a 64m by 34.1m combing shed. These facilities are hidden behind later two and three storey extensions.
The stone walls of the complex are loadbearing, with the floor loads being carried by both walls and cast iron columns and beams. The columns provide beam spans of 8.2m and 7m.
Cast iron beams with unequal flanges — the larger at the bottom — are at 2.6m centres, held in place by wrought iron rods. Between the beams are arches formed from hollow brick soffits with concrete above.
The mill closed in 1986, and renovation began in 1987. It now houses shops, restaurants and four art galleries — including one displaying works by Bradford artist David Hockney.
The mill is Grade II* listed. Saltaire village was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001.
Architect: Lockwood & Mawson
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH North

Salt's Mill, Saltaire