Dalton Textile Mill, Keighley
Dalton Mills was built by Joseph Craven in 1869, replacing the original mill from the 1780’s. It was designed as a worsted mill and as a replacement for the former Strong Close Mill, owned by Rachel Leach. The mill was named after Dalton, who was the manager employed by Leach. It was said to be the largest textile mill in Yorkshire, having over 2,000 employees. In its heyday - between 1869 and 1877 - the mill provided jobs for workers all over Keighley and Worth Valley.
Due to the decline of the textile industry, the mill was virtually empty up until 2004. John Craven, the great-great-grandson of Joseph Craven, eventually sold the mill to Magna Holdings to ensure its permanence.
In 2015, the building was taken off English Heritage's at-risk register after being partially restored due to falling in disrepair.
Dalton Mills is currently owned by businessman and healthcare entrepreneur Paul Harris. Harris bought the mill site in 2013 and restored the Clock Tower and Riverside buildings.
In November 2013, the mill was upgraded to Grade II* status, meaning the buildings are of more than special interest.
Since its closure, Dalton Mills has prospered as a filming location, thanks to its diverse range of industrial spaces, which offer an historic industrial backdrop as well as set build space, making it ideally suited to period dramas. Productions that have been filmed there in recent years include Screen Yorkshire backed dramas The Great Train Robbery and Peaky Blinders, as well as BBC dramas Gunpowder and To Walk Invisible and feature films The Limehouse Golem and Downton Abbey.
In March 2022, a blaze at Keighley’s Dalton Mills left much of the Grade II listed building as little more than a shell.
But now Historic England says it is looking at the next steps for what remains of the mill building, and hopes at least some of the building can be retained and says it is working with Bradford Council to bring the fire-ravaged mill “back into beneficial use for the area.”