William Starkey (b1801) was a cloth merchant, staunch Wesleyan and local
He built Leafield Mill on Kirk Lane, Yeadon in an attempt to prove his
theory of perpetual motion.
The mill was built with four storeys to accommodate
the apparatus for a perpetual motion engine.
This was the method he wanted to
use as cheap power for the mill.
On the bottom floor a large circle of stones
projected out, this was supposedly to house an enormous wheel which would have
been the lynch-pin of the motion machinery.
The wheel would have hollow "S"
shaped spokes in which iron balls would roll around thus moving the wheel.
iron founder could be found willing to cast such a huge wheel so his theory was
never put to the test.
He donated £50 towards the cost of building Yeadon Town Hall but died on
21st of March 1879, a year before the Town Hall opened.
The mill passed into
the hands of James Ives &Co and was demolished in 1984.
A housing estate is
now on the land , a large stone bearing the mill name is set into a perimeter
wall on Kirk Lane.