Sunday, 27 February 2011
Tombs with a view
(Click on photo to enlarge it)
Undercliffe Cemetery is perched on top of a hill in Bradford. The city itself (to the left of this picture) sits in a bowl, nestled among the surrounding hills. In Victorian times, most of the growing population was crammed into a small central area, in terribly crowded and insanitary conditions. So land was bought, well away from the population centre, to provide much need burial space.
The well-to-do folks (Titus Salt and his young wife among them) started to build large houses out to the north-west, into the areas known as Manningham and Heaton. In those days the city didn't extend anything like as far as it does now. In the early 19th century, much of what you can see here would have been green fields and moorland with a few hamlets dotted around. Salt chose a greenfield site to build his new mill and village of Saltaire.
This photo is taken from the edge of Undercliffe Cemetery, looking north-west. You can just see Saltaire in the middle distance - the tall chimney on the right is Salts Mill, sitting right down in the bottom of the Aire river valley. The church a little in front and to the left is St Paul's Church, Shipley. Even further left, towards the middle of the photo, is the tower of Shipley's Roman Catholic Church, St Walburga's. The patch of green on the far left middle is part of Northcliffe Park in Shipley. Undercliffe Cemetery and Saltaire are almost exactly contemporary - Salts Mill was opened in 1853 and the first burial in the cemetery was in 1854.
(see also earlier posts - click the Cemetery label below)