Thwaite Mills Watermill

View of a 19th century mill, reflected in a still river
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Thwaite Mills is one of the only fully restored working water-powered mills in Yorkshire. With over 300 years of industrial history, a tour of this early 19th century watermill presents a fascinating insight into life and times of the putty mill and its owners, the Horn family.

The islands on which the mill stands have become a rich wildlife habitat. Situated along the River Aire you can enjoy peaceful walks around the mill.

This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Industrial heritage site, Environmental or ecological centre, Museum

Opening hours

Tues - Fri 10:00 - 17:00 (during LEA school holidays)
Sat 10:00 - 17:00 & Sun 13:00 - 17:00

Closed Monday (except bank holidays)

Admission charges

£3:40 adult, £1:80 concessions, £1:30 children, 20% discount for LeedsCard holders.

Additional info

Baby changing facilities and outdoor play areas are provided for children.
Contact the museum for an information leaflet and directions.
Object identification is avalible through written enquiries.

Part of a Designated Collection of national importance is on display at this venue.

The unique focus of Thwaite Mills is the two giant turning waterwheels. The musuem also has a functioning blacksmith's forge amongst other traditional used industrial machinary. The Mills Manager House is also open to the public. This fine Georgian house, build in 1823 is now a grade 2 listed building, which authentically recreates the history of the mill.

Collection details

Social History, Science and Technology, Land Transport, Inland Waterways, Industry, Archives, Architecture, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

An Island Home - Key Stage One - Year Two

Half-day workshop for Year Two pupils.
Develop an understanding of geographical features and ideas. Express views about people, places and environment. Find out who lived and worked at Thwaite and the sorts of jobs they did.
Ring 0113 276 2887 to book and for availability.

Early Years at Thwaite Mills

Learning through play can children can use a variety of play equipment, helping them to understand how the mill, water wheels, cogs and canal systems work.

Experience Wartime at Thwaite Mills Watermill - Key Stage Two

Half-day workshop for Key Stage Two pupils.
Experience World War II at Thwaite. Discover why putty production was so important and investigate how real artefacts can be used to tell us what life was like during the war. Measure out a week's rations and hear a real air raid siren.
Ring 0113 276 2887 to book.
Dates for 2005:
19, 20, 21 April
17, 18, 19 May
4, 5, 6 October

Guided Tours around the Mill - All ages and abilities

Guides are available to take pre-booked groups around the working water-powered mill. Tours can be tailored to complement a variety of age-groups, abilities and themes including working conditions, the environment and water power, materials and their properties and forces.
Ring 0113 276 2887 to book.

Special Projects at Thwaite Mills Watermill

At various times during the year we run special projects, such as Easter and Christmas activities. Contact us on 0113 276 2887 for details of what's coming up.

Victorian Daily Life - Key Stage Two

Half-day workshop for Key Stage Two pupils
Experience Victorian domestic life. Carry out duties in the kitchen, experience Wash Day and discover how a rag rug is made. During all three hands-on activities children are encouraged to make comparisons between past and present.
Ring 0113 276 2887 for booking and availability.


This led workshop supports science, engineering, technology and maths on the theme of waterpower. It is a full day free workshop in which pupils will have opportunities to discover how the mill wheel works through practical tasks including building working model waterwheels and using dynamos to generate electricity.

How to obtain

For more information please call 0113 276 2887 or email

Thwaite Mills Watermill
Thwaite Mills
Thwaite Lane
West Yorkshire
LS10 1RP



Site Manager


0113 2141914


Thwaite Mills Office

0113 277 6737

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.