Bradford's Industrial Revolution

A brief history of Bradford Industrial Museum

Bradford Industrial Museum and Home of Horses at Work explores the history of the textile industry in Bradford. The museum is housed in buildings that once made up Moorside Mills. This mill was typical of Bradford's textile industry and its story reflects the social changes that were happening across the country in the 19th and 20th Centuries, for instance:

  • Like the majority of Bradford's textile mills, Moorside Mills was not a huge enterprise. It grew from a simple beginning into a medium-sized factory employing around 100 people
  • Giant mills like Salts and Listers, where raw wool or silk were transformed into finished cloth on one site, were the exception rather than the rule. Most mills concentrated on just one process: Moorside was a spinning mill preparing worsted yarn for weaving
  • Moorside Mills opened in 1875 and expanded as the textile trade flourished. Like many other mills, Moorside saw its most rapid growth during the First World War when worsted was needed in huge quantities for military uniforms
  • Originally powered by steam engines, Moorside Mills was converted to electricity in the early 20th Century
  • People came to work at Moorside from the North of England, and also from Ireland, Eastern Europe and Asia . After WWII, women workers from County Durham were housed in Moorside House and a temporary hostel was built for Polish and Ukrainian refugees who worked at the mill
  • The mill ceased production in 1970 and the buildings were put up for sale. At this time many local mills were closing and valuable machinery was scrapped. Bradford Corporation bought Moorside Mills to house an industrial museum that would preserve Bradford's important industrial heritage.

Map view of Bradford Industrial Museum»

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