Two popular Leeds museums join forces as part of National Mills Weekend

Caption: Thwaite Mills Watermill (top picture) and Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills (bottom picture) are playing their part in National Mills Weekend.

A weekend of fascinating activities is set to be held at two popular Leeds museums this month as part of ‘National Mills Weekend’.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Mills Watermill have teamed up to put together a packed programme on the weekend of 10 & 11 May. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore these two fascinating sites which throughout the year host a variety of other fantastic events.

Once the world’s largest woollen mill, and located in a beautiful riverside surrounding, the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills will be offering on May 10, tours of the textile gallery and activities including weaving, spinning and dyeing.

Anyone who attends the fun at Armley Mills on Saturday will also have the chance to receive free entry to Thwaite Mills Watermill the next day (Sunday May 11).

Set on the tranquil home of this 19th century watermill, Thwaite Mills Watermill in Stourton is one of the last examples of a water-powered mill in Britain. On the day visitors can marvel at the sight of the two large working waterwheels and working machinery where during its time hard flint was ground to supply the pottery industry, and later, chalk was ground for the paint, putty and pharmaceutical industries. Alternatively, visitors can simply explore at their leisure the delights of the fully restored museum with displays of industrial history and social life before taking in the fantastic scenery and wildlife living on the island.

Held on 10 & 11 May, ‘National Mill Weekend’ is the annual festival of the UK’s milling heritage that provides visitors with a fantastic opportunity to visit mills, many of which are not usually open to the public.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Mills Watermill are two fantastic places to visit, and we are delighted to showcase just how good they are as part of National Mill Weekend.

"There is always a lot to see at both museums, and on the weekend we will be offering a wide range of great activities including demonstrations and the chance to learn new skills including weaving, spinning and dyeing. Plus, this is a rare chance for visitors to visit both sites while only paying admission to one which is a great opportunity."

Sarah Barton, Keeper at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Mills Watermill said:

"The staff at both sites are excited to be working together and to be taking part in National Mills Weekend.

"We hope our visitors enjoy finding out more about two very different but equally fascinating mills. We are also thrilled to be able to offer people the chance to see both sites for one admission charge."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills:Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting. Step back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.

Opening times

Monday: Closed except for bank holidays. Bank holiday Mondays 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

Sunday: 13:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

Canal Road, Leeds, LS12 2QF

Tel: 0113 263 7861. Email: armley.mills@leeds.gov.uk

For more information visit www.leeds.gov.uk/armleymills

Thwaite Mills Watermill:

Thwaite Mills Watermill is perfectly nestled on a tranquil island between the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation, just at the end of Thwaite Lane in Stourton.

One of the best and last remaining examples of a water-powered putty mill in Britain, this fully restored and fascinating museum allows visitors to experience the power and force of water powered industry in action.

Opening times

Open every Saturday and Sunday, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Closed on Mondays except for bank holidays

Open during Leeds school holidays on Tuesdays – Fridays, 10.00am – 5.00pm

Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds, LS10 1RP

Tel: 0113 378 2983. Email: Thwaite:mills@leeds.gov.uk


For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk