Things to do
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 Things to do

At Leeds Industrial Museum you can explore the industries that have shaped our modern city – from textiles to steam engine production, printing to engineering.

The museum is housed within Armley Mills, once among the largest woollen mills in the world, where the galleries reveal workers’ lives from the 18th century to the present. A working waterwheel, factory machinery, and restored Victorian workers’ cottages are just a few of the exhibits you can discover.​​​​​​​​​​​

Click to expandTailoring Gallery

The displays in this gallery tell the stories of the people who worked in the Leeds tailoring industry. You can see examples of tailored clothing produced in Leeds, from dinner suits to soldiers’ demob suits, replica 19th century costumes from Hepworths, and fabric samples.

Tailoring and Leeds:
If it wasn’t for Leeds entrepreneur John Barran we might still be making our own clothes! After Barran came up with the idea of selling ready-made clothing, the industry flourished in Leeds and a number of tailoring firms became household names, such as Burtons and Hepworths.

Click to expandIndustrial Machinery

​Leeds has a long history of engineering expertise - the world’s first commercially successful steam locomotive was produced in the city! Our exhibitions reveal the machinery, locomotives, cranes, and traction engines made in the city and exported around the globe.

Click to expandAnnual Events

​Leeds Wool Festival is held annually at Armley Mills. This popular event include a market offering a range of goods from local traders, workshops and activities, demonstrations of special techniques, tips from professional speakers, a Q&A with our Knitting Gurus, and children’s crafting activities.

Click here for more information about the Leeds Wool Festival.

Click to expand1920s Cinema

Leeds Industrial Museum has one of the smallest working 1920s cinemas in the world. Take a seat and enjoy a black and white film during your visit.

The city on screen:
Leeds played a key role in the story of cinema, as Louis Le Prince made the very first films here in 1888. Find out more about early film, Le Prince’s intriguing story, and explore our fantastic collection of original cameras.

Click to expandPrinting Industry

Our displays also cover the Leeds printing industry. The first known printer in city, John Hirst, began printing the Leeds Mercury newspaper in 1718. By 1911 printing was the fourth largest employer in Leeds, with companies such as John Waddington Ltd, which started life printing theatre posters and then diversified into games, most famously Monopoly!

Click to expandEat, Drink, Shop

The beautiful waterside grounds at Armley Mills make the perfect setting for a picnic. If it’s raining, take a seat in our welcoming eating area, which serves hot and cold drinks, ice creams and biscuits.

Buy a memento of your visit at our gift shop or find the ideal present for an industrial history enthusiast.