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Esholt: A suitable case for treatment! (2)
Hidden History
Take a trip back in time!
In the first of a series in which West Yorkshire people look back at the county's hidden history, we report on research by Bradford College student Breedge Garnett who has been proving the truth of the old Yorkshire saying: "Where there's muck, there's brass!"
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FACTS

Esholt is said to take its name from the nature which is found in the area: Esche or Ash and Holt or wood: Ash Wood.

The Esholt estate is home to the Esholt Sprint, a timed motorcycle sprint up the long avenue on the estate.

From 1976 to 1996, Esholt was used for the location of Beckindale.
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It was the state of the Aire that eventually forced Bradford's city fathers to begin to sort out the problem. In February 1869 William Stansfield of Esholt Hall, which was almost alongside the river, could no longer stand the smell!

Although the council could claim he was part of the problem, as he owned a number of mills that poured waste from cleaning and dying into the Aire, he was granted an interim injunction ordering the Corporation to improve the sewage system in order not to pollute the Beck. Work begun in 1862 on a new sewage works was far from complete and the 30 miles of sewers finished by 1870 (at about the same time the City Hall was being erected) only made things worse. The effluent was still emptied into the Beck.

To sort things out Bradford Corporation proposed a sewage works at Frizinghall that would treat the waste before water went into the river

Esholt Hall
Esholt Hall (Photo: Breedge Garnett)
In an early example of public-private partnership, the city was to build the works and lease the site to a company that agreed to provide the service free of charge for three years. It hoped to make its money by charges and by selling the purified fertiliser produced as a by-product.

But it was not to be. Bradford's sewage was too rich in chemicals and grease from the textile trade to be of any use as a fertiliser ­ it just would not dry out. The company went into, well, liquidation, in 1874. A new injunction prohibited the discharge of any sewage into the Beck. The Corporation took over the operation and a new process of cleansing was found so that by 1876, 30,000 gallons of sewage were being treated each hour.

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