Thursday, 29 November 2012
Traces of history
Near the stump of the Bradford Canal in Shipley (see yesterday) is this little cluster of buildings, all connected historically with the Canal. The Canal was completed around 1774, to link the city of Bradford with the Leeds-Liverpool waterway, which was being built at the same time, and thus to provide a trade route for the city's industry. It closed in 1922 and was filled in in the 1950s so little trace of it survives, though you can see more or less where it went. It must have had a lock at this point because the stone building was the lock-keeper's cottage. I've read that the existing house dates from the 1800s and it may have been built on the site of, or adapted from, an older building.
The Bradford Canal appears to have suffered problems with its water supply. It closed down temporarily in 1867 but was reopened again in 1872. The red-brick building dates from that time and was a pumping station to pump water up from the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. At some point, it was converted (quite nicely by the looks of it) into a residence but for some reason is now boarded up and appears unused. I really like the garage with its large old clock and its chimney.
So, an interesting little cluster - but situated as they are in a predominantly commercial area that is rather isolated, run-down and boundaried by the railway, it's hard to see what the future might hold.