Bradfield Dale

Valley under 8 miles from the Sheffield city centre, comprising mostly of agricultural land, farms, homes and two resevoirs.



Bradfield Dale is a rural valley in the Peak District National Park, 7.5 miles (12km) north-west of Sheffield city centre. Approximately 3.1 miles (5km) long, it is situated just west of the village of Low Bradfield. The dale contains two reservoirs: Strines Reservoir, and Dale Dike Reservoir, with a third, Agden Reservoir, in a nearby side valley. These reservoirs were constructed in the 19th century to supply the city of Sheffield with water. The valley is made up mainly of agricultural land, with farm buildings and homes scattered throughout. It is well-known for its walking trails, providing an excellent nature-hiking experience right on Sheffield’s doorstep.
The dale is known for being the first area that was affected by the Great Sheffield Flood of 1964. This famous flood took place when the dam at Dale Dike Reservoir collapsed, inundating the River Loxley and River Don with 3 million cubic metres of water. This massive new flow of water swept through Sheffield and Rotherham, leading to around 250 deaths and the destruction of over 600 homes. The damages made for one of the biggest insurance claims of the Victorian era. The dam was rebuilt in 1875, after the disaster had led to massive reforms in engineering standards and practice. The location of the former dam is marked by a commemorative stone in the valley. 2014 saw the 150th anniversary of the flood, with commemorative events taking place in Low Bradfield and across Sheffield, including talks at the University of Sheffield by the British Dam Society and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Bradfield Dale is also home to some significant buildings. Hallfield House, a building Grade II listed by English Heritage, dates back as early as 1318, and was a farmhouse belonging to the eminent Greaves family, a famous dynasty throughout South Yorkshire at the time.
Sugworth Hall is another Grade II listed building in the dale, dating back to the 17th century, and was once the home of famed civil engineer Charles Boot (1874-1945), who constructed a tower overlooking nearby Strines Reservoir – this tower is now known as Boot’s Folly.
The now-derelict Thornseats Lodge was built in 1855 for the family of Sheffield Mayor Thomas Jessop, and later became an orphanage in the 1930s.
Strines Inn, a public house, dates from the 16th century and stands at the head of the valley – it is still open for guests, with three traditionally furnished rooms available to stay in, and real ales on tap along with home-cooked food being served.
Another pub, the Old Horns Inn in High Bradfield, has a pub garden that overlooks the dale, providing an exceptional view.
Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in a number of walking trails throughout the dale, making for an excellent day-out for Sheffield locals.
Natural Heritage
Peak District National Park
Don Gorge
Porter Valley

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