The area to the left of Well Street is known as Little Germany — a compact area of late Victorian warehouses and offices. Here merchants could store and sell their goods in their own private premises, rather than through the exchanges.This vast area was developed between 1855 and 1890, the architect for much of it being Eli Milnes (of Milnes and France): it is full of tall, high quality buildings,closely spaced to reduce land purchase costs, and producing some fine streetscapes.
11.Pennine House–Gateway to Little Germany
Formerly the Bradford Dyers Association building — Pennine House is an ornate design in sandstone, leading round to Church Bank. If you fancy a detour, take a walk up the steep Church Bank to see the medieval Paper Hall, otherwise stay on Well Street to explore more of Little Germany.
Walk along Well Street, which is where Titus Salt – founder of Saltaire, the World Heritage Site – opened his first warehouse. Most of the Well Street frontages appear to have been all designed by Eli Milnes around 1865 and contain some of the best examples of his work. Austral House is built of millstone grit but highly decorated by the use of incised carved sandstone and granite columns.
13.Vicar Lane – Heart of Little Germany
Take a left up Vicar Lane to get right into the heart of Little Germany. On your left is the American and Chinese Export Warehouse, built in 1871 to the design of Lockwood and Mawson in Italian ‘palazzo’ style. To your right is Law Russell Warehouse, adorned with tiered columns, which exaggerate the perspective, so as to command the attention of anyone approaching from the city centre.
As you continue up Vicar Lane and it turns into Burnett Street, turn right onto cobbled Cater Street.
The street has featured extensively on the big and small screen in recent years,featuring on the Downton Abbey film and Gentleman Jack, among others. If you look at the street on Google Street View, you can see it being dressed for filming in 2018.
14.Cater Street to Chapel Street
Walk along cobbled Cater Street. Continuing Bradford’s small-screen highlights,the building on the right was previously used to house the fictional Shelby Brothers’ headquarters in BBC’s Peaky Blinders. Turn left onto Chapel Street to see two of Bradford’s great sculptural highlights – Grandad’s Clock and Chair set in Bradford sandstone, and a huge David Hockney sculpture made entirely of nails.
Walk back down Chapel Street, passing the Bradford Playhouse on your left, and head right onto Leeds Road, following it as it turns into Hall Ings.
15.St George’s Hall
Your self-guided tour finishes close to where it began, at Bradford’s first public building, St George’s Hall. The blue plaque on Hall Ings was unveiled in 2019 after the building underwent a significant refurbishment. Today, this historic concert hall is preparing to welcome stars of music and entertainment through its doors once again in 2021, but on 28 December 1854 the building welcomed a very famous guest for a fabulously festive event.
On that night, Charles Dickens read extracts from his novel “A Christmas Carol”to crowds of delighted (and possibly somewhat spooked) Bradfordians.
We hope you enjoyed your winter stroll around Bradford. However you are spending the Christmas period, have a safe and peaceful holiday. A longer version of this City Centre Heritage Trail – along with other self-guided walks around the Bradford District – is available at www.visitbradford.com