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Thwaite Watermill, Leeds
Photograph: Leeds Fotografica /

This 200-year-old attraction in England is being forced to close

Thwaite Watermill near Leeds is one Britain’s last remaining water-powered mills

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee

Things were pretty different 200 years ago. Fresh out of the Regency era, King George IV was king of the UK and we were smack-bang in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. A lot has happened since then, but one windmill, which was standing strong all the way back in 1823, has survived right up until now, through multiple kings and queens, two world wars, and the invention of the internet. 

Thwaite Watermill in Leeds has been open to the public as a museum since the ’90s, but, in exceptionally sad news for pretty much everyone, it will be closing this summer due to a lack of funds. 

The museum currently only opens on weekends and school holidays. Despite allowing visitors to step into the past and see first-hand how the mill would’ve worked throughout history, dwindling visitor numbers means the council seems to have little choice but to relinquish their lease and let someone else buy up the property.

According to a statement on the watermill’s website: ‘Whilst the final decision has not yet been taken to surrender the lease, Thwaite Watermill will provisionally close to the public as a Leeds Museums and Galleries attraction from April 1.’

The website also quotes a local councillor: ‘The council does not take any decisions affecting our visitor attractions lightly. However, the financial pressures we are now facing have forced us to look at options which would never have previously been considered.’

If you live nearby and have time this weekend or next, head over to the Thwaite before it shut its doors forever. Find out more about visiting the mill here

Looking for some more museum recommendations?

Time Out has you covered when it comes to museums and galleries. Check out our roundup of the best museums in the UK, or if you’re looking for something a bit different, try out one of these cool sculpture parks, or one of these immersive museum experiences. We’ve also got lists of the best museums in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, and any other city you can think of really. 

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