Armley Mills: Plaque marks Boxing Day Floods


A commemorative plaque will be unveiled at Leeds Industrial Museum tomorrow to mark the Armley Mills site’s recovery from the Boxing Day floods.

The devastating December flooding forced the museum, which was once the world’s largest woollen mill, to close for almost three months while staff and council officers pitched in for a massive clean-up operation.

Armley mills closed
Armley Mills closed for three months due to the post floods clean up

Now, after a successful re-opening, a plaque made and donated by Wakefield engineering firm ID Howitt Ltd has been placed on the outside of the building at the exact height the flood waters reached.

The plaque will be unveiled tomorrow by Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, during a ceremony to coincide with the beginning of National Mills Weekend, which runs on May 14 and 15.

Councillor Blake said:

“The way that Leeds Industrial Museum has been able to bounce back from the impact of December’s flooding typifies the spirit and determination that the whole city showed during one of the most challenging times in recent memory.”

December’s flooding saw parts of Armley’s historic former mill submerged under eight feet of water.

The flood waters reached levels three times higher than previous catastrophic flooding in 1866, an event which is also commemorated with a plaque at the site.

Armley mills flood plaque
The team at Leeds Industrial Museum in 1946 next to the original commemorative plaque

On Saturday and Sunday, from 10am until 5pm, visitors will have the chance to explore both Leeds Industrial Museum – Armley Mills – and Thwaite Gate at Stourton and learn more about this year’s National Mills Weekend theme of vintage power.

And for this weekend only, tickets for Leeds Industrial Museum can also be used for entry to Thwaite Mills, which is one of one of the last remaining examples of a water-powered mill in Britain.


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