Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Salts Hospital unmasked

Salts Hospital sits at one corner of Alexandra Square, next to the almshouses. My earlier photograph of it showed it shrouded in scaffolding, having some repair work done. Opened in 1868, the hospital was originally just a two-storey building. It was intended as a six-bedded casualty ward to deal with accidents at Salts Mill, but it developed into a cottage hospital for the whole community. Saltaire had a sickness benefit scheme into which workers could apparently pay 1 shilling a month. The company paid a third of this and the Scheme paid out 8 shillings a week if you were ill. In 1909 the hospital was extended to three floors and sixteen beds, with further extensions added in the 1920s.

It eventually became a residential home for elderly folk, before being sold to a developer and turned into apartments about ten years ago. I had a look round the 'show-homes' when they were being sold (a minor pastime of mine!). They were kitted out with very modern kitchens and some had mezzanine floors, taking advantage of the very high Victorian ceilings. It's in a convenient spot, about five minutes walk from the railway station but there must be a few drawbacks to living there... car-parking (which is a problem all over Saltaire) and the trees, which must block out a lot of light in the summer. And the busy crossroads, where there are frequent accidents... they must get used to the sound of crashing metal!



9 comments:

  1. Beautiful architecture and craftmanship. I bet the interior is just as special. It was definitely built to last.

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  2. Am I getting confused, or is there another hospital/clinic on Victoria Road?

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  3. These old solid northern buildings can look quite forbidding as hospitals.

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  4. Even with all what you say, I think I could like living in such a building. i like its architecture!

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  5. It's a lovely building. I like the windows!

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  6. Saltaire sounds more and more fascinating!

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  7. Beautiful, and so solid-looking!

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  8. You have such interesting posts from Saltaire. The history is facinating. It still looks a nice building.

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  9. Alan - I'm not aware of another hospital on Victoria Road. Though there is another small hospital in Shipley, on Kirkgate.

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