Monday, 26 February 2018
Knoll Lodge, Baildon
Although this lodge house is on the opposite side of the river from Saltaire and a good mile or so away, the observant viewer will notice a distinct similarity to some of the architecture of Saltaire. That gothic arched window with the roundel above is a real echo of the rounded windows and doors in the village, although rather more pointed. The similarity comes because this was the main gate house for a large mansion called The Knoll, which had strong links with Saltaire.
The Knoll was built in the late 1850s/early 1860s by Charles Stead, who was the first of the directors of Salts Mill not to be from the Salt family. The land was bought from the Ferrand family (of Bingley St Ives) by Titus Salt, who then sold it on to Mr Stead. The mansion, built in gothic style, had beautiful and extensive gardens. When Charles Stead was bankrupted, the house was purchased and occupied by Sir James Roberts, one of the consortium who took over the running of Salts Mill in 1893. Eventually Sir James moved to Milner Field and his son Bertram and family lived at the Knoll, until after WWI. After that the house had various owners and was eventually sold to Baildon Council. The mansion was demolished in the 1960s. Flats were built on the site but remnants of the gardens remain and the lodge house survives.