9th March 2016
The core of Armley centres around Town Street, some 2 miles from the city centre, although the district of Armley extends from the gyratory roundabout off Wellington Bridge only ½ a mile from the city centre (where significant infrastructure development is taking place to provide a 20,000 sq.ft. Lidl superstore as well as a B&M Home Store and Farmfoods outlet) and extends for a further two miles or so west of Leeds before bordering with Wortley, Bramley and Whingate. The area was borne from industry, mining and brickworks in the Industrial Revolution with many artisan houses erected for the workers in the local factories and mills. Significant slum-clearance in the 1960’s took place and many new developments have taken place along with on-going significant infrastructure investment.
Armley Town Street offers the usual cross-section of national chains and local shops, along with a library, post office and a very popular sports centre, alongside a plethora of eateries and hostelries. The predominantly private housing areas are to the north of Town Street leading up past Charlie Cake Park (see History section for more details) to The Travellers Rest pub at Hilltop and beyond past the cemetery and across to the north where the Armley Grange’s abut Stanningley Road. There are tennis courts and a club to be found across Stanningley Road and as one drops back into Armley down Stanningley Road Armley Park opens up on the left leading all the way down to the Armley Mills Museum.
The museum contains exhibits from 18th century to the present day and tells the history of manufacturing in Leeds, including textiles, clothing, printing and engineering. The Galleries and collections tell the story of number of industries that have shaped Leeds, from the recreated Victoria Cottages through to the waterwheel. Leeds has a long history of involvement in the wool trade and its position as a centre of the cloth trade was greatly enhanced by the opening of navigable waterways, especially the Leeds/Liverpool canal in 1700, which provided a direct link between Leeds and its customers and suppliers in Europe, Australia and the Americas. The museum also has a working 1920’s cinema, a media gallery containing a range of cameras and projectors, as well as printing presses.
Armley has a lot to offer to say it’s a ‘stones throw’ from the city centre.