Summary

Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.

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Brief description of site

Roberts Park is a public park designed by William Gay. It was opened in 1871 as part of the planned layout for Saltaire model industrial town developed between 1850 and 1876. Restoration funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund was completed in April 2010.

Brief history of site

Saltaire was laid out by Lockwood & Mawson as a model town around Salts Mill during the years 1851-71. The park was one of the last parts of the town to be completed. James Roberts, the manager of Salts Mill, presented it to the City of Bradford in 1920 from which time it was called Roberts Park.

Location information:

Address: Roberts Park, Higher Coach Road, Baildon, BD17 7LU

Locality: Bradford

Local Authorities:

West Yorkshire; Bradford; Baildon

Historical County: West Riding of Yorkshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 104 Grid Ref: SE138383
Latitude: 53.8408 Longitude: -1.79176

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

Roberts Park is a municipal park, open daily for general public use.

Key information:

Form of site: public park

Purpose of site: urban park

Context or principal building: parks, gardens and urban spaces

Site first created: 1871

Main period of development: Late 19th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Site Size (Hectares): 6

Description

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

History

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

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Saltaire was laid out by Lockwood & Mawson as a model town around Salts Mill for Sir Titus Salt (1803-76) during the years 1851-71. An undated map by Lockwood & Mawson shows the executed plan. The park was one of the last parts of the town to be completed and at the opening ceremony Salts Mill closed so that the workers could attend. Initially called the People's Park or Saltaire Park, it was given to Shipley Urban District Council by their newly elected chairman, James Roberts, who was also the manager of Salts Mill, c 1910. Following a quarrel with the Council he took it back and presented it to the City of Bradford in 1920 from which time it was called Roberts Park. The park remains (1999) in the ownership of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

 

People associated with this site

Designer: William Gay (born 1814 died 1893)

Features

river

River Aire.

bandstand

The bandstand is undergoing restoration.

References

Organisations associated with this site

Yorkshire Gardens Trust

Historic England Role: Designating Authority

Lockwood & Mawson Role: Architects

The Friends of Roberts Park Role: Special Interest Group

Sources of information

Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest

English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, (Swindon: English Heritage, 2008) [on CD-ROM]

Images

  • Saltaire Park, historic image

    Saltaire Park, historic image

  • Roberts Park, Baildon, the bandstand

    Roberts Park, Baildon, the bandstand

  • Roberts Park, Baildon

    Roberts Park, Baildon

  • Roberts Park, Baildon

    Roberts Park, Baildon