Photographs of the school, captions and text by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2011. [You can use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.] The lion sculpture Determination below first appeared in "Salt and Light: Incorporating Saltaire Daily Photo," and was kindly provided in higher resolution by Saltaire blogger and photographer "jennyfreckles," who retains the copyright. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

The former Factory School, Saltaire, now Shipley College Salts Building. Lockwood & Mawson. Opened 1868. Rock-faced stone with ashlar dressings. Victoria Road, Saltaire, Yorkshire.

Left: Close-up of central gable and bell-turret. Right: The lion representing Determination, with architectural sculpture on the school's tympanum in the background, both by Thomas Milnes.

Just as prominently sited as Saltaire's Victoria Hall, and opposite it on Victoria Square, is what was the original model town's schoolhouse. Having made a fortune from his early promotion of the alpaca trade, Titus Salt was able to spend £7,000 to realise this part of his vision for working-men's society (Balgarnie 136). The building is only one-storey, but has three pedimented pavilions, and as usual in these important buildings the central pediment is carved with the Salt coat-of-arms, this time with an alpaca on either side. The bell-turret has figures of two children, a boy and a girl, with a globe (see "Saltaire Conservation," 29). The London Society magazine noted approvingly, "Children are only allowed to work half time at the mill and for the rest are sent to school," concluding, "Sir Titus Salt has shown an excellent example of a better state of things" ("The Improved Condition of the Poor," 90). The lion sculpture at the other end of the frontage here is Vigilance.

Salt's biographer quotes the Government Inspector's comment on the finished school: "the school buildings, for beauty, size, and equipment, had no rivals in the district." The boys' and girls' schoolrooms, he continues, "are placed at opposite ends of the building, each being 80 feet long by 20 feet broad. Between the wings in the front is a double colonnade; to the back are extensive open playgrounds, laid with asphalte [sic], also covered playgrounds for wet weather; in front the ground is tastefully laid out with walks and shrubs" (Balgarnie 136-37).

Related Material


Balgarnie, Rev.R. Sir Thomas Salt, Baronet: His life and Its Lessons. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1878. Internet Archive. Web. 23 September 2011.

"The Improved Condition of the Poor." London Society. Vol. 16 (Jan. 1870): 89-91. Internet Archive. Web. 26 September 2011.

Leach, Peter, and Nikolaus Pevsner. Yorkshire West Riding, Leeds, Bradford and the North. The Buildings of England series. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2009.

Saltaire: Conservation Area Assessment, March 2004. Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Web. 23 September 2011.

"Statues, Memorials, &c." Building News and Engineering Journal, Vol. 17. 15 October 1869: 296. Google Books. Web. 23 September 2011.

Further Reading

Jackson, Neil, Jo Lintonbon and Bryony Staples. Saltaire: The Making of a Model Town. Reading : Spire, 2009.

Last modified 8 October 2011