Porter Valley is a grouping of various parks and valleys that are along the river Porter Brook.
ABOUT PORTER VALLEY
The Porter Valley is a series of valleys and parks along the Porter Brook, a river that flows from the moors to the west of the city into the city centre, where it joins the River Sheaf. The parks in this valley, created between 1855 and 1938, comprise of Endcliffe Park, Bingham Park, Whitely Woods, Forge Dam Park, and Porter Clough. A number of Sheffield’s former water-powered industrial sites are along this route, including the Whitely Woods Works, Ibbotson Wheel, and Endcliffe Wheel.
Endcliffe Park, the closest Porter Valley park to Sheffield, is at the end of Ecclesall Road. It is a large park, first opened in 1887 to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and contains three monuments to her. The park comprises a number of woodland pathways and grassy recreation areas, as well as a large duck pond connected to the river. Endcliffe Park was the crash site of an American Air Force bomber plane, the USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress Mi Amigo, which suffered engine failure after taking enemy fire on a mission in Denmark; it was returning to base when the craft came down in Sheffield, the crew sacrificing themselves in order to avoid the urban areas and the children playing in the park. The entire crew perished in the crash. A memorial stone marks the crash site, as installed by the Royal Air Force Association, who also organise an annual day of remembrance. The City Council also planted ten memorial trees, one for each airman.
Bingham Park is directly adjacent to Endcliffe Park, separated by Rustlings Road. It is set on a grassy hillside, with views across the whole valley and across to Ranmoor. It also has an AstroTurf area used by local footballers. The Valley continues with Whitely Woods, a woodland walk with a goit (stream for drinking water). Wildlife such as grey herons and kingfishers can be spotted occasionally here.
Next on the trail is Forge Dam Park, on the site of the Old Mayhouse Farm and Forge Dam. The dam, built sometime in the 1700s, was used to divert water to a series of grinding mills, in the production of metal cutlery that the area was famous for. Today, the area has a café and ice cream shop, a children’s play area, and a large duck pond, with a population of particularly striking mandarin ducks.
In 1924, famed town planner Patrick Abercrombie said of the parks: "The Porter Brook Parkway, consisting as it does of a string of contiguous open spaces, is the finest example to be found in this country of a radial park strip, an elongated open space, leading from a built-up part of the city direct into the country".
A local charity, Friends of the Porter Valley, acts to protect and conserve the cultural heritage and natural ecology of the area. They run guided walks and events regularly.