Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Heritage Trail 10 - Caroline Street
'Turn right onto Caroline Street...' Caroline Street, named after Sir Titus Salt's wife (1812-1893), is one of the long, wide streets pointing east-west through the village. The village plan mostly follows a grid pattern, apart from where the main Saltaire Road, which predates the buildings, cuts through diagonally. The grid pattern was chosen to use the land efficiently but the streets are carefully planned to ensure that each house receives ample daylight. The whole village really is a masterpiece of design, with a symmetry and repetition that pulls the whole together and yet sufficient variety to avoid it looking uniform and dull.
Right at the far end of the road you can see modern semi-detached houses, part of the Hirst Wood estate, built much later than Saltaire itself. When Saltaire was founded in the second half of the 19th century, this whole area was open countryside. Sir Titus Salt deliberately bought up greenfield land to move his mill and his workers out from the city to a healthier environment. Saltaire formed a recognisable and discrete village and the houses on the edge looked out over open countryside. But of course over the years it has become just part of the urban sprawl along the Aire river valley.
[Photo taken from the junction of George Street with Caroline Street, see the street plan]