The Bleach Works, or Bleach Mill as they are often called, were sited in Burley Woodhead, though the easiest access for vehicles was from Menston, and Menston folk saw it as part of their village. Dry Beck, which runs by the site, is the ancient Burley township boundary.
The origin of the works is uncertain, but it occurs in the 1861 census records. In 1871 the census shows James McKinley as manager of the business.
The bleach works bleached yarns from local mills and linen cloth possibly brought from further afield. Later tarpaulins were processed here and there are memories of them being stretched out on neighbouring fields to dry. The works closed in 1927 after protests that effluent was fouling the local streams and killing fish. Jack Kell of Menston who has supplied the photograph of the old works, believes that about 40 men and women were employed at the works by 1900.
_The site of the Bleach Mill works, showing the dam which provided water, and the mill cottages which survive at present.