SE3231 : Weir at Thwaite Mills (view from upstream)

taken 3 years ago, 3 km from Leeds, Great Britain

Weir at Thwaite Mills (view from upstream)
Weir at Thwaite Mills (view from upstream)
This view shows how the weir with its adjacent watermill was built on a sharp bend on the river Aire; it was rebuilt after being destroyed in a flood in 1975.
Thwaite Mills
The current mills complex was created between 1823 and 1825 by the Aire and Calder Navigation company, although there had been a mill on the site from at least the middle of the 17th century.

The mill was built as a corn-grinding and oil-seed crushing mill, but in 1872 was taken over by the Horn family and redeveloped as a flint crushing mill supplying the local ceramics industry.

Later the family moved to the production of whiting from crushed chalk, supplying a variety of industries. Some of this was also used to make glazing putty, and this became essentially the sole product with the huge increase in demand that resulted from bomb damage during the Second World War. Production continued until 1976 when the weir was breached during a flood; the resulting loss of water power meant that the business could no longer be carried on.

In 1978 a society was formed to preserve the mill. Eventually the mill was taken over by Leeds City Council who developed it as a museum with much of the equipment still operable.

The mill complex represents a remarkably complete example of a 19th century water mill, with little in the way of more modern buildings and with virtually all the equipment surviving. There are 5 main buildings surviving:

1. The mill itself, which contains two large low-backshot wheels, 18 ft in diameter and 8 ft 6 in and 14 ft 6 in in width respectively. These work a number of machines involved in the crushing and refining of the raw materials through line-shafting and drive belts. In the 1930s a modern Raymond crushing mill was installed; it was found to require more power than the waterwheels could provide and a Marshall diesel engine was installed to drive it. At the north end of the mill range is a later engine house and boiler house; the steam engine is thought to have been a Cornish type engine and may have been used to pump water back into the upper level when river flow was low. The boiler house was later converted to a drying area with a coal fired rotary kiln, which is itself a rare survivor.

2. A warehouse building fronting the canal which incorporates time-office and a pair of drying floors where flint and later chalk slurry was spread to dry over a series of Roman-style hypocaust flues.

3. A workshop building, which still contains original machines, such as lathes and drills, as well as a blacksmith's forge. At the side of this are the remains of a pair of calcining kilns from the period as a flint mill.

4. A stable and storage building.

5. The mill owner's house, an attractive four-square building in Georgian style. Some of the ground floor rooms have been fitted out as period interiors as part of the museum development.

All these buildings are Listed Grade II, the stable block for group value rather than specific merit. Also listed is the bridge which forms the main link across the tail race of the mill.

The final item of interest is the steam driven crane on the canal wharf area. Built in 1947 by Butters of Glasgow, it was removed elsewhere for preservateion, but was later returned to site and restored. It is still steam at regular intervals for demonstration purposes.
River Aire
The River Aire is a 71 mile long river in Yorkshire. It rises at Aire head SD9062 : Aire Head Spring near Malham. It joins the River Ouse at Airmyn.
Wikipedia: LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
TIP: Click the map for Large scale mapping
Change to interactive Map >
Grid Square
SE3231, 186 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 18 February, 2017   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 21 February, 2017
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Rivers, Streams, Drainage 
River (from Tags)
Aire 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 3275 3120 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:46.5667N 1:30.2720W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 3271 3118
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
Looking for a postcode? Try this pageExternal link
Clickable map
+

Other Tags
River Weir 

Click a tag, to view other nearby images.

Image Type (about): geograph 
This page has been viewed about 19 times.
View this location: KML (Google Earth) · Google MapsExternal link · Bing MapsExternal link · Geograph Coverage Map · geotagged! More Links for this image
NW N NE
W Go E
SW S SE
[Mark
You are not logged in login | register