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Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010
Keighley's Dalton Mills under the hammer
Dalton Mills
The mill is home to a pair of peregrine falcons too

A piece of Keighley's architectural heritage, famous for its starring roles in TV and film, is up for sale.

Dalton Mills, a Grade II-listed former textile mill is going under the hammer.

The partially restored 19th century mill is in the town centre and had a starring role as Marlborough Mills in the BBC adaptation of North and South.

It was once the largest employer in Keighley with more than 1000 workers in its heyday.

Other productions that have used the mill include BBC One's Sunday Life, a host of Bollywood films and most recently Bedlam, a new drama series featuring Will Young.

The large mill complex is situated in a riverside location close to Keighley train station.

It was built by Joseph Craven in 1869, replacing an older mill, and was named Dalton Mills after a mill manager.

John Craven, the great-great grandson of founder Joseph, sold it to the developers Magna Holdings in 2004 after it had been almost empty for a decade.

The Clock Tower and Riverside have now been converted into a business park with a wide range of tenants from wind turbine designers to screen and digital printers. The landmark clock has also been restored to its former working glory.

North and South
Starring in North and South with Richard Armitage (right)

Unusual tenants

Dalton Mills is also home to some more unusual tenants, a pair of peregrine falcons who have made their home in one of the mill's towers. The falcons have been nesting and raising chicks at the top of the tower for five years now and are often spotted around the mill.

There is a second less developed part of the complex but its architecture and original features in the Venetian decorative style of the Victorian era are still intact.

After maybe Salts Mill (in Saltaire) and Manningham Mills (in Bradford), Dalton Mills could be considered the most architecturally important mill in West Yorkshire. It has a rich history dating back over 130 years.

Dalton Mills is one of the key sites in the Airedale Masterplan, the regeneration blueprint for the Airedale (that is to say Keighley, Bingley and Shipley) region. Keighley has seen some investment in recent years with developments including another site for Leeds City College in a new building in the town.

The mill will be auctioned in two separate lots by King Sturge in London on Wednesday 15 December 2010.


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