Industrial History Online

Industrial History Online

Bradford Goitside

Originally a medieval goit redirecting water from Bradford beck to power the manorial corn mill (Soke Mill) built C1530 and demolished 1871, standing between what is now Aldermanbury and Godwin Street on Millergate, approximate N.G.R SE16206 33042, also supplying water to a Fulling Mill alongside, the tailrace returning water back to Bradford Beck.
The goit, an artificial water course supplying the medieval mill waterwheel, was later utilised during the Industrial Revolution, supplying water to power the C19th and C20th mills of an ever expanding textile industry.

Bradford Beck runs parallel to the goit on the South side of Thornton Road.

Bradford Metropolitan Council declared The Goitside a conservation area in 2005 to preserve the unique architectural heritage of the many industrial buildings still extant.
The goit runs at the rear of C19th and C20th textile mills and warehouses for 800 metres (2,600 feet) on the North side of Thornton Road, originating on a bend in Bradford Beck near Water Lane, approximately N.G.R SE 15455 33303, culverted under the former Water Lane Mills dye works and then under Thornton Road and heading East towards the city centre.The goit is now covered over with still extant huge stone flags along its length.

Approximately 300 metres (384 feet) from the start of the goit lies Hollings Mill on Lower Grattan Road, built 1824, and was Sir Titus Salt's first mill when starting out in his new business venture, having previously been in business with his father Daniel Salt as Daniel Salt & Son at nearby Thompson's Mill as wool-staplers and spinners.
The family partnership was dissolved in 1835 when his father retired, prompting Titus (he wasn't created 1st Baronet until 1869) to form his own business spinning wool at Hollings Mill, which stood directly to the side of the goit.
As a married man Titus Salt lived in the nearby area, from 1836 to 1843, a ten minute walk from his mill at the junction of Thornton Road and Little Horton Lane, alongside the worst slum properties in Bradford.
It was during his time here that he formed his understanding, and sympathies towards working families, living alongside some of the worst housing conditions in the country, leading him to move his workforce out into the fresh air of the countryside and forming the model industrial village of Saltaire, now a World Heritage Site.

The area between Goitside and Bradford Beck formed Bradford's earliest industrial site and included Holme Mill, constructed on a meadow known as 'The Holme' at the turn of the C19th and was Bradford's first steam powered mill, situated at the junction of Westholme Street and Thornton Road to the South of the goit.
Following this a number of mills, factories and foundries, (see WYK01091 and WYK01100) along with associated workers housing were constructed in the area, ideal because of plentiful water supplies and the ability to dispose of any effluent being produced into the goit and beck.
In the mid C19th an Act of Parliament approved the construction of the Bradford and Thornton Turnpike Road (Thornton Road) which runs parallel between the goit and beck, leading to industrialists developing the area further still.
Bradford became Britain's fastest growing town between 1830-1875, the seventh largest in the country by 1851 with a population of 103,000 and reaching 216,000 by 1891, becoming the recognised Wool Capital of the World.
The overcrowded housing became very squalid leading to a slum clearance scheme creating Bradford's first social housing scheme, situated in the Longlands and Roundhill Place area of Goitside.

Hollings Mill is still involved with the textile business (2019) see;

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Key Words :- manorial corn mill goit steam mill
Linked Sites :-
WYK01091,Vulcan Iron Works
WYK01100,Smith Brothers & Eastwood Ltd - Soho Mills
WYK02352,Thompson's Mill
Address :- Thornton Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire
Grid Ref :- SE 15476 33318
Co-ordinates :- Lat - 53.795943 , Long - -1.766540
Local Authority :- City of Bradford
Pre 1974 County :- Yorkshire - West Riding
Site Condition :- Earthworks only
Site Status :- Site extant - Protected status unknown
Contributor :- cc-by-nc-sa 4.0 © Andrew Garford - 25 June 2019