Thursday, 14 September 2017

Saltaire's tunnels

Back when I first started this blog in 2009, I posted the photo on the right (see HERE for post) with the title 'Mystery...' The question concerned the green arched door and what it was for. The answer is that it is the entrance to a tunnel that goes under Victoria Road. It connects Salts Mill with the Dining Hall (seen above the door) that Sir Titus Salt had built so that his workers could get good meals.

The door has remained firmly closed for all these years, until this year's Saltaire Festival, which is on at the moment. The Festival always coincides with a weekend of Heritage Open Days across Britain, when interesting buildings that are normally closed to the public are opened for viewing. This year, for the first time, Saltaire History Society in collaboration with Shipley College, who now manage the Dining Hall building, opened the tunnel, together with another that runs between the college buildings higher up Victoria Road, so that people could see inside.

There was a huge amount of interest, so that the planned tours were all booked up by about 10.30am and lots of people were, I think, disappointed that they couldn't get in. I did manage to join the Dining Hall tour and it was very interesting, although I was disappointed to realise that the tunnel is now bricked up and access does not now extend all the way through to the Dining Hall building.


  1. An unusual piece of history. It is a shame that it has been bricked up.

  2. How interesting to get into that tunnel, Jenny!

  3. Lovely and sad at the same time. I hope someday they remove the brick and restore the tunnel.

  4. The Open Days concept sounds very much along the lines of our Doors Open events. I'd enjoy getting a look in there.

  5. Fascinating! How nice that they opened them up. I can see why so many people were interested.


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