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© Mr David Karran

IoE Number: 465690
Photographer: Mr David Karran
Date Photographed: 05 July 2001
Date listed: 19 October 1951
Date of last amendment: 11 September 1996
Grade II*

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LEEDS SE2734 CANAL ROAD 714-1/28/916 (West side (off)) 19/10/51 Armley Mills, main range (Formerly Listed as: CANAL ROAD, Armley Armley Mills incl mill houses to SE, chimney to E, & sluices & bridge west) GV II* Formerly known as: KIRKSTALL ROAD. Corn mill, later woollen mill, with outbuildings, now Leeds Industrial Museum premises. Corn mill 1797; woollen mill 1805 onwards, for Benjamin Gott; outbuildings mid C19; roof repaired 1929. Coursed squared stone and ashlar, hipped slate roof, moulded cornice and blocking course. L-plan, 23 bays to 4-storey north-south range (woollen mill) and a 6-bay easterly projection at south end which is built into the ground slope and therefore 2 storeys on south side (corn mill). Water wheel (restored), wheel pit and single-storey shed of coursed squared sandstone with gabled slate roof incorporating corn mill remains against north side of corn mill wing; tall single-storey engine house attached to north end of main range and remains of mill building attached to east with a cast-iron bollard standing against the south east corner. The main range and outbuildings straddle the mill race, the tail race bridge on which the structures stand is also included. Main range facades: thick glazing bars to 3 x 3 light window frames, the central pane pivoted, plain sills and lintels; on the west side the central 9 windows have continuous sill bands, 2nd-storey sill band on east side. At water level on west side round-arched openings with finely-cut voussoirs and iron grilles allow head race flow to corn mill water wheel (right) and site of woollen mill water wheels (left); on the east side the tail race emerges through 2 segmental arches and a third arch, left, obscured by later platform construction. East wing facades: north side fenestration as main range but with square blocked windows under eaves; south face: corn mill entrance left, first-floor walkway above, steep flight of stone steps against west gable down to north side ground level; museum entrance links to warehouse. INTERIOR: lower floor of corn mill range retains early cruciform section cast-iron columns, part of upper floor ceiling retains sheet-iron cladding nailed to underside of joists in 1807. Main range: the cylindrical cast-iron columns and T-section cast-iron beams support shallow brick-arched floors and are the earliest surviving example of this form of fire-proof construction; the roof rebuilt 1929. HISTORICAL NOTE: the site of Armley Mills dates from the C16 as a corn and fulling mill. In 1788 Colonel Thomas Lloyd bought the mill and rebuilt it as the largest woollen mills in the world with 18 fulling stocks and 50 looms, managed by Israel Burrows and Christopher Hill. The foundations of the main range are probably of this date; the corn mill was rebuilt at the same time but burnt down in 1797, the rebuild of that date survives. Benjamin Gott rented the mills from Lloyd while Bean Ing mill was being rebuilt after a fire in 1799, in 1804 he agreed to buy the buildings but a major fire destroyed Lloyd's new structure. Gott's new Armley Mills was built on the same site, powered by 2 water wheels approx 5.5m (18 feet) in diameter and approx 8.7m (28 and a half feet) long and fitted with gearing which enabled them to exceed the output of steam engines until c1840. The mill contained fulling stocks extending down the centre of the ground floor, scribbling and carding machines on the 2nd and 3rd floors and mechanics workshops on the top floor. Corn milling ceased c1810 and the building was adapted to textile use. The beam engine house was added c1850 by Gott's sons John and William, and the mill extensively reordered at that time. By the 1880s the premises were used by a variety of textile manufacturers and in 1969 Leeds City purchased the buildings for an industrial museum after a period of neglect. (Brears P: Armley Mills, The Leeds Industrial Museum guidebook; Leeds Industrial Museum: Fitzgerald R, Keeper of Industrial Archaeology (pers. comm.)).

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