Monday, July 15, 2024
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Mark’s History: A walk that shows best of Armley Mills and its weir

When I am out and about looking at old buildings I always start with the back first, writes Mark Stevenson.

The backs of buildings change less so than the fronts. In the case of the buildings at Cardigan Fields off Kirkstall Road (where the Vue Cinema is), neither the front or back of any of the buildings there are inspiring (but give it 50 years and they will be).

It is more the view you get from the back of them that is of interest. 

Somebody – not sure who – has cleared a lot of the bushes and trees that once hid the weir that is part of Armley Mills.

armley mills weir

Just take yourself right up to the far end of Cardigan Fields and turn right behind the Bridgewater Arms Pub and follow the footpath.

The weir has all manner of wildlife visiting or passing by and a fish and eel pass is planned for the future. 

A view of the weir from the other side of the Aire. Photo: Mark Stevenson

The weir is thought to be medieval and was enlarged and rebuilt by John Sutcliff in 1788.

It directed water to power five water wheels in Armley Mills. In World War II the weir was struck by a bomb and had to be repaired with concrete in 1942.

Read more of the regular Mark’s History column here. Check out the Mark’s History Facebook page here.


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