Historic Buildings of the Past

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This article is for buildings that no longer exist. Many historic buildings still exist in Baildon. You can read about some of them from this page.


Baildon once had a cinema in the center, on Northgate.

The plans were first drawn up in 1914 and it opened on Monday 5th February 1917. It survived as a cinema until Saturday 26th March 1960. It was demolished soon after. Some of the timber from the building was used in the roof structure of some of the garages on Threshfield.

The Shipley Cinema History website has a page about the Baildon Picture House on Northgate from which some of the above information was taken.

Bedlam Steps

Drawing of Nine 'Oiled Birdcage

On this site in the mid 1850s there were three cottages, each three storeys high, which housed a total of 90 residents and was known locally as 'Nine 'Oiled Birdcage'. The ground floor was accessed from the pavement in Browgate. Up the steps was an opening to allow access to the middle storey and at the top of the steps was a terrace giving access to the top storey. The well worn steps are evidence of years of wear, as most people were shod in clogs at that time. The general clamour of 90 people living in this restricted area, along with the incessant clickety, clackety sound of clogs on the stone steps, gave rise to the naming of the area as `BEDLAM STEPS'.


Ferniehurst was built by Edward Salt in the early 1860s. Edward Salt married his first wife Mary Jane Susan Elgood on July 10 1861; and it therefore seems likely that the house was built for her. The land belonged to Titus Salt who had wanted to build a house on the Knoll site but had changed his mind and sold that land to Charles Stead. There are no known pictures of the house and no building plans However maps of the area do show the basic plan of the house and of the glasshouses and other buildings. Edward Salt had one of the foremost collections of orchids in the country and the Odontoglossum House at Ferniehurst was considered a model of perfection. Edward Salt lived at Ferniehurst until 1893 when as a result of the restructuring of the family firm he left the area. His collection of orchids had been sold in 1892 and the house had been mortgaged to the Bradford Bank. The estate was offered for sale in 1892. The house was described as having 12 bedrooms, a tower, and a billiard room with a separate staircase. There were also outbuildings including a carriage house for 6 carriages, a separate laundry, a gardener's bothy, 3 vineries and a mushroom house. The estate failed to reach the asking price and was withdrawn from sale. It was eventually bought by George Camille Waud. His family owned Britannia Mills in Bradford. His great interests were growing roses and breeding hackneys; he built a hackney stud at Ferniehurst. In the 1920s he started selling off land from the estate. Temple Rhydding Drive etc. were built on Ferniehurst land. In the early 1930s the house was offered to Baildon Council who declined to take it. The house and grounds were then sold to a quarrying company who are said to have used stone from the house to build the houses in Rockliffe Avenue. Baildon Council eventually acquired the grounds and laid them out as recreation grounds complete with a playground.

The Knoll

Image of The Knoll house.

The Knoll was built in 1858 by Charles Stead. The land had originally belonged to the Ferrand family; it was sold to Titus Salt who then sold it to Charles Stead who was a director at Salt. There are photographs of the house but no building plans. The house had beautiful grounds. The entrance was at the bottom of Green Lane, the drive ascending through Fairnbank Wood. Charles Stead left the house in the 1890s as a result of the restructuring at Salts and moved to the Morecambe area. The Knoll estate was acquired by James Roberts, later Sir James Roberts, who was part of the syndicate which took over Salts. Who eventually moved to Milner Fields. Members of his family continued to live in the house until after World War I. The estate then had a series of occupiers until eventually Baildon Urban District Council bought it in 1946. The house was pulled down and flats built on the site; the grounds were opened in 1948 as a recreation ground and were subject to a series of rules and regulations.

I used to explore it just before it was demolished. It had a square tower and a spiral staircase. stained glass windows at the bottom of the staircase and a round stone raised water feature at the back. Thank you from Marilyn Cordingley (nee Knowles)

Fairbank Wood Lodge

Half way down the drive in the Knoll Park (Fairbank Wood) was another lodge on the left hand side going down. This was damaged by falling rocks from above and behind the lodge and was subsequently vacated and demolished possibly in the late fifties. There were also what I believe to be pigsties on the right hand side of the drive adjacent to the main mansion overlooking Baildon Green. There was also a small house by the right hand side of the mansion (unknown residents) I am in the process of drawing the mansion from my memory of it and the photo on the historic buildings of the past baildon wiki site from - Marilyn Cordingley

Hostel for Italian Women

A large house, demolished in May 2009, at the corner where Green Lane and the Otley Road meet was a hostel where many Italian women workers lived after the war, being employed at C. F. Taylor in the Worsted trade.

The question of a hostel for Polish workers in the mills arose in 2008. It had been suggested to Stewart Main that it was on the Coach Road, however no other reference to it at this location has been found. The Coach Road was very rural after the war and a building like a hostel would have been remembered by local residents who still live in the area.

Two local women, Anne and June, who lived on Glenaire Drive during and after the war have said that only one Hostel existed, and they thought it was for Italian women. It is referred to in Baildon Council minutes. They suggested that Polish women may also have lived in the same hostel. Both groups could have worked at the mills.

A number of streets existed on that corner or nearby which have since been demolished. The rectangle of land between Green Lane, Southdown Road and Cliffe Lane had Nelson Street, Walker Street, Springcliffe Street, Fernbank Street, Taylor Terrace and ?? . Approximately 112 houses in that small space.