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Saltaire is a purpose-built "model" Victorian industrial village, next to Shipley and just to the north of the centre of Bradford in West Yorkshire's Bronte Country. The village itself was built in the nineteenth century by the Victorian philanthropist Sir Titus Salt, to provide self-contained living space for the workers at his alpaca wool mill - a welcome alternative to the then "dark satanic mills" of Bradford and Leeds.
More recently Salt's Mill has been converted by the late Jonathan Silver into shops and the "1853 Gallery" which houses a collection of the works of the famous artist, David Hockney. Other buildings in the village have now been similarly transformed into shops, licensed restaurants and pubs (just a little touch of irony here - as Sir Titus was a staunch advocate of abstinence from alcohol!)
Also of interest is the United Reformed Church - one of the nation's most precious Victorian buildings and a unique example of Italianite religious architecture. Other focal points are the Victoria Hall (centrally located and a magnificent venue for many of the indoor events which are held in the village) and Roberts' Park (which is used for outdoor events etc.) Close nearby are Hirst Woods and also the local beauty spot of Shipley Glen (which can be reached using the Victorian Shipley Glen Tramway - a historic funicular dating from 1895).
With its Bohemian feel and Hockney connections, Saltaire village has become a magnet for artists, poets, writers and musicians. Every year the village hosts the very popular Saltaire Festival (which is usually held in September). In December 2001 Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated group of locals who mounted a successful bid to get the village recognised for its historical significance at the international level
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