Armley Mills Canal Road Armley, Leeds LS12 2QF
Located on a tiny island on the River Aire, on the western side of Leeds, the Industrial Museum stands on the former site of the world’s largest wool mill.
Leeds has a long history involving the wool trade and its position as a centre of the cloth trade was greatly enhanced by the opening of navigable waterways. The Aire and Calder Navigation and Leeds/Liverpool canal provided a direct link between Leeds and its customers and suppliers in Europe, Australia and the Americas.
In 1805 the mill was the world’s largest woollen mill containing 18 fulling stocks and 50 looms. But today, the wool production has finished and instead, visitors to Armley Mills can explore the history of Leed’s industrial past.
Leeds Industrial Museum contains exhibits from 18th century to the present day. The collections tell the story of the industries that have shaped the city, from the recreated Victoria Cottages through to the waterwheel.
In addition to this, Leeds Industrial Museum has a working 1920s cinema that shows a series of short films. Continuing this theme, there is a media gallery containing a range of cameras and projectors, as well as printing presses.
The museum has a café that sells hot drinks and light bites. All proceeds go back into the museum to help support future exhibits.
No visit to Leeds is complete without a visit to the Industrial Museum. Industry is ingrained in the city, so understanding its impact will help you understand what Leeds is really all about.
In a country where most museums are a stuffy country house, the rugged openness of the Industrial Museum is a welcome change of pace.
The Museum is open 10-5 Tuesday to Sunday. Parking is free and drivers can find the Museum easily using the city ring road.