Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Living by the river, Knaresborough style
Walking into Knaresborough through the Mother Shipton Estate you glimpse some lovely houses along the riverside. These apartments have been converted from an old mill building, Castle Mill, that nestles at the foot of the castle rock. Originally a papermill, it was replaced in 1791 by a cotton mill that was converted in 1811 to spinning flax to make fine linen. It had the honour of supplying linen 'by royal appointment' to Queen Victoria's household and in 1851 was awarded the Prince Albert Medal for producing a handwoven seamless shirt. (See the things you learn by reading this blog!)
But industrial development was rather hampered by Knaresborough's relative isolation, being a difficult place to connect by canal or rail to the major centres of population like Leeds. In many ways that has been our gain, as it is nowadays a truly delightful and picturesque town, retaining much of its ancient charm. In fact, I don't know why I haven't visited much more often. It's only about 20 miles from Saltaire. I had a lovely day-out there.