Are Yorkshire’s fine chimneys falling into disrepair and falling down? They should be cosseted as important heritage assets reflecting an industrial age that is passing us by.
I hope to photograph and catalogue a selection of interesting chimneys and lookalike structures during 2023. I have started near home with the Shipley-Saltaire axis on the Leeeds-Liverpool canal with three remaining structures above. Those associated with Salts Mill’s many chimneys provided an insight into the needs and requirements of all aspects of the textile and clothing trades.
Many chimneys were and are located near water for cleaning, transporting or cooling purpose but perhaps the most important issue was removing noxious fumes from work places. Contrary to popular belief they were not built to provide work for steeplejacks or boy chimney sweeps.
These Victorian chimneys in Hunslet Leeds are preserved Grade 2 listed as Tower Works and the Giotto Tower Dust Extraction Chimney which were linked to engineering needs. As with Keighley much engineering historically serviced the textile trade from consumable combing pins to large scale weaving sheds.
Drax cooling towers in watercolour by BSmartist.