Did you know there is an island in Leeds?
Thwaite Mills is a green oasis sandwiched between the river and the canal in south Leeds. It’s a eco-friendly working watermill, with creaking waterwheels, lush fields and woodlands full of butterflies, birds and bumblebees. Much of the work we do is centred around the environment and working harmoniously with it.
The 1940s house
Step back in time inside Thwaite House, the former mill managers’ house, which now reveals what life was like living on the island and working at the mill in the 1940s without electricity or modern appliances! For the full World War Two experience, you can also explore our Anderson shelter and 'Dig for Victory garden'.
Thwaite Mills works well for KS1 and KS2, supporting topics such Victorian life, World War II, Geography (habitats) and Science (properties and forces). Everything we do is cross-curricular and all the workshops support the development of literacy skills ( and Science (properties and forces), numeracy, and often art. We also have special seasonal workshops.
Most sessions are based around the site, within the watermill or the grounds. If it looks like rain, pack sensible shoes and raincoats! The warehouse can be used as as a bookable space for group lunches.
What do teachers and students say about us?
“We had a fun and interesting day out, with knowledgeable staff and a good range of activities in a lovely location”, KS2 teacher.
“The children enjoyed all aspects of their day, rating it 8, 9 and 10 out of 10. The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by staff and children. Hope this is on next year!”, KS2 teacher after a Waterforce workshop.
“I enjoyed making a waterwheel because we had a difficulty and managed to fix it. It was different because we could see what we were learning about, I enjoyed every part of the trip”, Yr 6 pupil after a Waterforce workshop.