Armley Mills

Armley Mills

The earliest record of Armley Mills dates from the middle of the sixteenth century when local clothier Richard Booth leased ‘Armley Millnes’ from Henry Saville. A document of 1707 provides the first description of the mills. ‘That Fulling Mill in Armley… containing two wheels and four stocks… also the water corn mill and all the fulling mills… containing one wheel and two stocks.’ By 1788 Armley was equipped with five waterwheels powering eighteen fulling stocks.

Over the next hundred and seventy years, Armley Mills became a hive of activity producing wool and cloth and exporting its wares to North and South America, Europe and the Far East. In 1804 Benjamin Gott agreed to buy Armley Mills in November 1805 but the mill was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Gott re-built the mill from fireproof materials, using brick and iron wherever possible. It is Gott’s mill which survives largely intact to this day.

In 1907 the woollen clothing manufacturers Bentley and Tempest, who had been one of several tenants, became the sole occupiers of Armley Mills. Like many other textile mills, Armley could not cope with the combination of the loss of markets as the British Empire split up and in 1969 the mill finally closed. Since 1983, the mill has been known as the Leeds Industrial Museum.

Locally the mills are renowned for being haunted with visitors and staff reporting paranormal experiences. There are many reports of shadowy figures and the sounds of children laughing and people coughing, you may even hear a whisper from ‘Harold’ said to be the main haunter of the location.

Often people have claimed to have been touched by dis-incarnate hands while others have had ghost hunting equipment snatched out of their hands by mysterious forces. Whatever your beliefs this is going to be a night to remember!


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