Friday, 11 December 2009

The Tower House

Here's another photo of 47 Titus Street (see also yesterday) with its unusual glazed tower. As you can see, it is a very large house, probably one of the largest in Saltaire. It sits almost at the centre of the village, which has led to speculation that the tower was a look-out of some kind, perhaps a fire watch tower. But no-one really knows for sure. It's doubtful if you can see the whole of the village from here.

The 1871 census tells us that the occupants of 47 Titus Street at that time were Sergeant-Major Thomas Hill and his family. He was the commissionaire and security officer at Salts Mill, and had served for 21 years in the Indian army, rising to the highest rank of non-commissioned officer, before - presumably - retiring and taking the job at the mill. I can't believe that his job required him to sit in the tower keeping an eye on the village...but you never know!

I wonder if the present occupants use the tower? Perhaps a place to store Christmas decorations!

PS: Did a bit more research today - just realised
our local library might have copies of the census - and it does! (Marvellous resource!). Thomas Henry Hill was 53 in 1871. He was born in Bristol (SW England) and had been a Conductor of Ordnance in HM Indian Army. He was a Chelsea pensioner (meaning that he was either injured in army service or had served more than 20 years and received a pension). His wife Caroline Anne was 48 and had been born in the 'E Indies, Bengal' so he must have met her during his Army days. They had four children living with them: Emily Caroline aged 19 and Amelia Maria (17) both pupil teachers, and Edmund Ernest (13) and William Henry (11) both at school. All the children had been born in either India or Burma. Isn't that interesting?


  1. And if the present occupant was a Member of Parliament, could they make a claim for the upkeep of the tower?

  2. Ha ha love lan's comments. Maybe they locked the children in htere.


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