Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

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A cache of never-before-seen-photos of Armley Mills - now Leeds Industrial Museum - have been released to coincide with a new project celebrating the local community.

Showing machinery, staff and the owners through the generations at what was once the world's biggest woollen mill, the photos have been revealed as the attraction launches an offer giving Armley residents the chance to explore the mill for just £1.

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Read more: Leeds Industrial Museum exhibition pays tribute to textile trade with sculptures.

From today, anyone with an LS12 postcode can visit for the cut-price entry fee to find out more about the site - once the beating heart of the city's textile trade.

Visitors can also take the opportunity to see the museum’s current Leeds to Innovation exhibition, which looks back at 300 years of Leeds inventors and their creations from lighthouses to board games and miniature cars.

Originally a fulling mill from at least the early 1500s, the site was bought in the late 1700s by Colonel Thomas Lloyd, a Leeds cloth merchant who expanded operations dramatically, so much so that Armley was soon home to the world's largest woollen mill.

Historic photos released of Armley Mills through the ages

Historic photos released of Armley Mills through the ages

The original buildings later burnt down, but were rebuilt in 1805 by noted industrialist Benjamin Gott, the owner of several mills in the area.

Read more: Leeds museum is home to century-old clock.

Although production ended in 1969, the site reopened as Leeds Industrial Museum in 1982 and today showcases an array of vintage machinery including traditional looms and other textile equipment, some of which is still operational.

John McGoldrick, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ curator of industrial history, said: “Leeds Industrial Museum has played a huge part in establishing Leeds as a global industrial power and a leader in production and innovation.

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

"But it’s also been part of the Armley community for more than 300 years and has grown, developed and changed alongside the local area, developing a really strong connection with the people who live here that still exists today.

“We’re really pleased and proud to be giving those people living in Armley a chance to find out more about a place that’s such a key part of their local heritage.”

Entry for a pound for those with an LS12 postcode is per person and available with proof of address such as a recent utility bill, passport or driver’s licence.

For more information visit: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-industrial-museum/

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds

Historic photos showcase life at former textile mill in Leeds