- Paperback: 186 pages
- Publisher: Barleybrook Ltd (Sept. 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0956938000
- ISBN-13: 978-0956938008
- Package Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.8 x 2.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,482,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Milner Field: the Lost Country House of Titus Salt Jnr Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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Sir James Roberts who was the occupant after Titus Salt Junior is my great, great grandfather and as I have always been very interested in my family history I was at last going to learn more about Milner Field.
A lot of the story I knew already but it was good to have it brought together in a book and some of the photographs of my ancestors I saw for the first time including my great, great, great grandmother sitting in the grounds in Figure 27. I am just disappointed that my uncle, who died in 2010 did not live to see this book.
I am planning a trip to Shipley Glen and Milner Field now although I hope I don't see the green man with the flute. It is easy to read too much into the curse of Milner Field but Sir Titus himself said he didn't want to live a long life anyway. Alice Roberts, my great Aunt in Figure 74 may have been embroiled in a national scandal but she went on to live to be over 100 and I have copies of many letters that she wrote to other members of the family - happy, high spirited letters that record what was going on in national politics. I am considering putting these together in a book as I think they would make very interesting reading.
The strength of the book for me were the photographs and also the historical perspective, for example I had not realised that large numbers of similar houses were knocked down around the same time. Also the detail about the garden, the drawings of the layout of the house and the information contained in the sale catalogue.
I can certainly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the industrial history of West Yorkshire in the mid to late 19th century as it did bring together many threads and gave an overall view of the domestic life of the likes of Sir Titus Junior and my great, great grandfather, Sir James Roberts. The book covered the visit of the future Edward V11 and Queen Alexandra to Milner Field in 1882, insights into business life in Bradford as well as the goings on of the Shipley cricket club.
Now I want to order a copy for my father but find it is currently unavailable. I hope some more copies will be printed.
These books are like gold dust.
I really liked the number of pictures that pack the book - far more than I have ever been able to find myself and would love to know where they found them. I thought the photos of the "big house" and its wealthy occupants were a revelation.
It is nice to have some myths dispelled (though I did love to think there had been a murder at the old house as I was always told by my grandparents and I told my children!).
The mystery surrounding the house was built on the premature deaths that had happened to the owners, and again local stories have all been embellished on quite a bit.
The interviews with those involved in the house also added a lot to my understanding of why such a place got pulled down. I had no idea just how many houses like this were being demolished in the 1950s and was a real eye opener to me.
As a local, I had heard about the green man of Milner field so loved this ghostly tale, but didn't know that it dated from a sighting in the 1950s as the book explains.
The reviewer "creature" seems to have missed the point in his review. I have a folder built up over the years from looking into the history of the place but I am delighted to have its story chronicled in one book like this - and that includes having copies of both sale brochures for the house which I have seen in the library - but it is great to have these in the book as they are always there for me to look back on, so a big plus for me. They are just a bonus in a book packed with new information and a mass of photographs. I certainly haven't seen much of this content before and would hope "creature" can point me in the direction of of any fresh information he knows of not included here, as I am intrigued to find out as much as I can about the house and its history.
This book has loads of images from all periods and many different angles that I have definitely not seen before - and this includes some great aerial shots before and after it was abandoned. Creature says we need another book on Milner Field too, so can't wait for his to hit the bookshops.
I was also pleased to see a section on the Knoll because my gran lived not far from there and she remembered the house from when she was a girl. I have been into Baildon library wanting pictures of it, and only one seems to exist which was from a newspaper and it was really dark. This book has a beautiful clear photo from the Victorian days showing the complete house - with the family even standing at the door! I wish gran was still alive as she would have loved to have seen the picture.
I have enjoyed this book because it has filled in a lot of gaps for me and you can almost imagine you're back there in its heyday. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the story of the house and those who lived there.
It's rare, too, to find local historians who have not only done their research but also have an engaging writing style. A very enjoyable and informative read.
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