Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The site of Milner Field

This gatehouse - South Lodge - and its counterpart, the North Lodge are virtually all that remains of Titus Salt Jnr's home of Milner Field. Sir Titus Salt bought the land, about a mile outside Saltaire, in 1869 for £21000. There was a manor house already there, but this was demolished and in 1873 Titus Jnr built the house known as Milner Field - an imposing neo-Gothic building, full of the most modern of Victorian conveniences.

The house was eventually sold when the fortunes of the Salt empire began to crumble in the 1890s, some time after Titus Jnr's premature death in 1887. Strangely, all the subsequent owners suffered unusual misfortunes - lavishly described by Bill Bryson in Chapter 17 of his wonderfully funny book, "Notes from Small Island": "Before long the house developed a reputation as a place where you could reliably expect to come a cropper. People moved in and abruptly moved out again, with ashen faces and terrible wounds."

The house eventually lay empty for twenty years and was demolished in the 1950s. Now, all that remains
are a few overgrown ruins, including (I am told) the remains of the mosaic conservatory floor. As Bill Bryson concludes: "What would old Titus Senior think if you brought him back and showed him that the family fortune was spent and his busy factory was now full of stylish chrome housewares and wooftah paintings of naked male swimmers with glistening buttocks?".
What indeed....

2 comments:

  1. After checking the amount of cash going through the tills he would probably have adjusted to modern life fairly well. People live longer, live better and are better educated - the kind of things he was in favour of.

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  2. Indeed the mozaic floor does still exist here:-Copy and paste this link.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/baldybikerboy/2307466745/in/set-72157604038516613/

    More thsn that follow this link for a full collection of pics of Milner Field as it is today:-

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/baldybikerboy/sets/72157604038516613/

    ReplyDelete

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