Unlike many of his contemporaries, Titus Salt was determined to ensure a decent quality of life for his workers, even after they left his employ. In addition to the many educational institutions he built to allow workers to better themselves, he also commissioned the almshouses on Victoria Road. Today they are separated from the core of the village by Saltaire Road but are well worth the crossing for a visit.
The 45 almshouses were built to provide shelter for those who couldn’t support themselves, such as widows and injured workers. Although preference was given to workers in Salts Mill and their families, anyone of ‘good character’ and unable to support themselves was eligible. Although this was unusually generous by the standards of the time, residents were subject to strict rules on their behaviour and the maintenance of the houses. In what is now No. 29, there was originally a small chapel to save residents walking down to the Congregational Church. On opening it, Salt is reported to have said:
My sole desire is that you should be happy, and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to know that you are so.