Weavers and Wool​
Calderdale and The Colne valley 


Wool has been an important part of the British economy since medieval times.


However the industrial revolution in the 19th century transformed the landscape, as enormous mills were built, particularly in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. 

They employed hundreds of thousands of workers, many having moved from rural areas in search of a job. Rows of terraced houses grew up to accommodate them.


The mill owners grew rich. Some exploited their workforce, while others were more philanthropic. Around the mill towns, elegant estates and imposing buildings can still be seen.The Canal and then the railway network became essential to transport raw materials and finished goods. 


However in the 1960's,  cheaper imports from the far east flooded into British shops. One by one the mills closed

Halifax 


 

Nelson and Colne
 

Salts Mill 
 
Saltaire

When it was completed in 1853, Salts was the largest industrial building in the world. The mill closed in 1985, and has been converted to a highly successful shopping and arts centre. It houses many works by local artist David Hockney.

September 2017