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The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

A public park opened in 1871 and designed by William Gay for Sir Titus Salt with buildings and structures by Lockwood & Mawson, as part of the model industrial town of Saltaire.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Roberts Park is situated on the north side of Saltaire on land which slopes southwards down to the banks of the River Aire. The c 6ha site is bounded by Victoria Road on the east side, Higher Coach Road on the north side and a fence dividing it from housing and a recreation ground on the west side. The southern bank of the Aire and the precincts of a boathouse on the bank form the south boundary.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

There are two entrances into the park. The principal entrance, at the mid-point of the east side, has a stone lodge (Lockwood & Mawson c 1870, listed grade II). The other entrance is via a C20 cast-iron footbridge over the river, which is reached from a path running west from Victoria Road. The path divides, with one branch leading north-west to a boathouse and the other leading north to the footbridge, which replaced a road bridge.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING

The principal building of the park, which acts as a focus for the design, is a tea room designed by Lockwood & Mawson c 1870 (listed grade II). It is built into a terrace with the roof, which projects as a balustraded semicircle, acting as a viewing platform. Steps lead down on either side and large windows give views over a cricket ground to the south. The integration of the building into the park's design suggests that William Gay (1814-93) must have collaborated closely with the architects.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The park is divided into three areas: gardens, sports fields and the river. The plan is articulated around an east/west axis with a terraced walk which runs from one end of the site to the other, terminating with shelters (both listed grade II). At the mid-point of the terrace is the projecting semicircular viewing platform formed by the roof of the tea room, which gives views over the town to the south. On the platform there is a statue of Sir Titus Salt (F Derwent Wood, listed grade II) which was erected in 1903 to commemorate the centenary of his birth.

To the north of the viewing platform is the site of a bandstand, which was demolished during the Second World War. North of this a shrubbery replaces an axial path leading north, shown on a late C19 plan by Lockwood & Mawson, which terminated with a shelter (listed grade II), which survives. The land north of the terrace, which occupies approximately one third of the park's area, is laid out with gardens and curving paths, edged with rocks in places. These are shown in similar form on the Lockwood & Mawson plan. In a book published in 1895 the educational nature of this part of the park was stressed; at that time all the plants were labelled, to facilitate the 'acquisition of botanical knowledge'.

To the south of the terrace there are sports grounds and a cricket pitch with a cricket pavilion overlooking it from the south-west corner of the site. The area was designed to accommodate various sports including croquet and archery as well as cricket.

On the southern edge of the site the River Aire was widened to provide facilities for boating and swimming. On the south bank there is a boathouse, probably of late C19 date.

REFERENCES

Anon, Saltaire, Yorkshire, A Sketch History, (Sir Titus Salt, Bart, Sons & Co Ltd 1895), pp 24, 29

A Holroyd, Saltaire and its Founder, Sir Titus Salt, Bart (nd, late C19), pp 62-70

G F Chadwick, Park and Town (1966), pp 108-9

J Reynolds, Saltaire, (Bradford Art Galleries and Museums 1976)

W E Alderson, Salt and Saltaire (1986)

Saltaire Trail, (Bradford Metropolitan Council 1996), pp 1, 29, 32

Maps

Lockwood & Mawson, Plan Shewing the Town and Works of Saltaire, nd (late C19)

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1848

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1934 edition

 

Description written: February 1998

Amended: March 1999

Register Inspector: CEH

Edited: November 1999

Owner: Bradford Metropolitan District Council

City Hall, Centenary Square, Bradford

Site designation(s)

The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens Grade II Reference GD2233

Green Flag Award

World Heritage Site Reference Saltaire

Environment

Terrain: The site is on land which slopes southwards down to the banks of the River Aire.

External web site link: http://www.bradforddistrictparks.org/sites/parks/parks.php?ID=76

External web site link: http://roberts-park.org/

External web site link: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1001226

External web site link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1028