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Exhibition Road, Saltaire

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Exhibition Road is the only road in the village to have been named subsequent to the 1876 death of Saltaire’s founder Sir Titus Salt. Initially lacking buildings fronting onto it, it was unnamed prior to the Royal Yorkshire Jubilee Exhibition, held there in 1887.

One of the outstanding successes of the original township was its Schools of Science and Art. These Schools, housed in the Institute in Victoria Road, proved so successful that by the mid 1880s they needed more space. At the suggestion of Titus Salt Jr, son of Sir Titus, the Salt School governors of the time resolved to erect a new facility, behind the existing Institute. The development was to cost £12,000, to be raised from an exhibition which for its five month duration would use the new building, together with 12 acres of land to the east.

The Royal Yorkshire Jubilee Exhibition was opened by Princess Beatrice on 6th May, 1887. For the one shilling (5p) entry fee, any visitor would have been impressed with the Exhibition’s scope – to the north of the new School was a Concert Hall seating 3,000; a covered avenue extended as far as the site of the present Baker St, with a series of Exhibition Courts along its length. Other features included a maze, a Japanese village, a toboggan run, and a working dairy. An electrically powered lighthouse, mounted atop the new building, shone out across the surrounding countryside. 

Today the 1887 Exhibition Building is home to our prestigious Shipley College, and Exhibition Road marks part of the eastern boundary of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire.

© Barlo & Shaw


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