Mark’s History: Armley Mills and the vandalised Woodhouse Moor monument

armley mills industry monument
Photo: Mark Stevenson

I have been to Armley Mills a few times over the years and on one occasion I noticed a bronze figure of Industry and thought it looked a bit out of place just tucked away in one of the sheds, writes MARK STEVENSON.

queen victoria statue woodhouse moor
Queen Victoria’s statue on Woodhouse Moor. Photo: Mark Stevenson

It wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered why it was there. I was having a look around Woodhouse Moor at all the statues that are there (Wellington and Peel) when I noticed a statue of Queen Victoria.

The notice board tells you that the statue was first placed outside the Town Hall in 1905 and that it was moved to Woodhouse Moor in 1937 when Victoria Square was remodelled. 

queen victoria statue vandalised woodhouse moor
The vandalised Queen Victoria statue in Leeds – note the gap where the industry figure used to sit. Photo: Mark Stevenson

I went back to Armley Mills to get a picture of the figure of industry but the sheds were all locked up so I asked the lady (Linda) at the bit where you pay to get in if there was any chance of having another look.

queen victoria statue leeds town hall
The Queen Victoria Statue outside Leeds Town Hall.

Linda with the help of Steve (many thanks to them both) let me into the shed to have a look.

I asked Linda why it was there and she said it was due to vandalism by the students who had knocked if off of the side of the Victoria Monument.  

£8,000 was raised by public subscription to pay for the statue of Victoria and it was unveiled by the Lord Mayor Edwin Woodhouse in 1905.


  1. Thank you for this, Mark, I used to play on Woodhouse Moor seventy years ago and loved the statue but I didn’t know it had been vandalised. Bloody students!

  2. I lived on Hyde Park Road as a child and Woodhouse Moor was my play park….I loved that statue, though too young to appreciate it’s significance back then
    … What would it cost to bring it back to its former glory….is it a possibility?


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