Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Bradford Council.

Saltaire, West Yorkshire is an outstanding and well preserved example of a mid-19th Century industrial town and is now a World Heritage Site. The layout and architecture of Saltaire reflects mid-19th Century philanthropic paternalism, as well as the important role played by the textile industry in economic and social development
In the four short videos (made by media students at the University of Bradford) an actor playing the part of Sir Titus Salt takes viewers on a guided tour around the town that he created and shows them where people lived, worked and prayed.
Activities and discussion ideas focus on the main themes of work, living conditions and leisure, using downloadable census information, historical and contemporary sources and images to compare 'Saltaire then and now'.

Curriculum Links

  • KS2 History: A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Human Geography
  • KS3 History: Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901
  • KS3 Geography: Human Geography

Discussion and Activity Ideas

  • Download some key quotes from historical sources and the extract from a book written in 1873 to get an idea of what people thought about Saltaire at the time it was built, and what Titus Salt's vision for his village was.
  • Look at the census documents showing occupants of the house at 6 Higher School Street  and choose to be one of the children from this house. Talk about what your life was like. Think about these questions
    - Were you a 'worker' or a 'scholar'?
    - What time of day would you wake up?
    - What chores would you have to do before you went to school or work?
    - If you were a worker, what work did you do?
    - What where the sounds of the mill like?
    - If you had any time off, what did you do? Would you have had lots of friends?  
  • Look at the census documents from 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 and write down the names of people who lived for more than ten years in the house on Higher School Street.
    - Make a list of occupations and find out how old the youngest worker is.
    - Look to see where people came from before they lived in this house, and use Google maps to see how far they travelled to get to Saltaire.
    - Did people come from the town or countryside? If people have come from the countryside, write about why you think they moved to the city.
    - Make a list of all the things that wouldn't have been in this home in 1871, compared to homes today. Think about how crowded the house would have been. Where would people have slept? Would they have all been in the house at the same time?
    - Be a detective and write stories about people who lived in this house using 'clues' from the census information. 
  • Watch the video of Sir Titus Salt showing you round Saltaire Church, then decide what you would put in your own time capsule; create your own time capsule for your class. What things will be different do you think for a class time capsule and your individual one?
  • Download the document comparing the shops and businesses on Victoria Road in 2012 with those in 1871.
    - Make two pie or bar charts (one for 1871, one for 2012) showing how many shops/businesses there were of each different type.
    - Compare the two charts and discuss the differences.  What reasons can you think of for the type of shops changing so much over the years?   Where do you or your family usually go to buy the sort of things that were sold in the shops in 1871?
    - Find out about your nearest parade of shops - what types of business are there?  how long has each one been there and what had it been before that?