Sheffield's Cultural Heritage



Rivelin Valley

The Rivelin Valley nature and heritage trail is today a year-round attraction embracing a great variety of plants, trees, animals and birds, not to mention the historical remains of many watermills and mill dams that played a key role in Sheffield's cutlery and steel industry.

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ABOUT RIVELIN VALLEY


 

 
OS Grid reference- SK 288 865
 
The River Rivelin rises on the Hallam moors in north west Sheffield, and follows an 8 mile (13km) course to join the River Loxley at Malin Bridge following its
 
A fast-flowing river, falling 80m between Rivelin Mill Bridge and Malin Bridge, the Rivelin is fed by a constant release of water from the nearby moorland peat. Its flow was exploited for centuries as a power source, driving the water wheels of about twenty different industries - including forges, metal-working and flour mills - along its course.
 
The Rivelin Valley, through which the river flows, is a 312-mile (6km) long woodland valley which includes the popular Rivelin Valley nature and heritage trail that was created in 1967 and now under the custodianship of the Rivelin Valley Conservation Group and Yorkshire Water.
 

An art installation in the form of a bespoke steel chair, nestled close to the Rivelin Café by artist Jason Thomas.

 

Occupation

 
There is evidence of occupation of the site from Roman times through to the Middle Ageswhen the Rivelin valley was part of a large tract of land set aside for deering hunting by the Lords of Hallamshire (known as Rivelin Chase or Firth), covering thousands of acres on the western upland outskirts of the then parish of Sheffield. In the 20th century the River Rivelin formed the north-western boundary of Sheffield.
 
One of the many boards found within the trail, this board gives a map, pertinent information regarding the trail and explains the history of the site.

One of the many boards found within the trail, this board gives a map, pertinent information regarding the trail and explains the history of the site.

 

Industrial past

The Rivelin Valley nature and heritage trail encompasses the historical and archaeological remains of the water mills and dams, dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, playing a key roll in Sheffield's cutlery and steel industries.
 
Although most of the mills and forges no longer exist, the ponds which fed them are still present.
 
The following list enumerates the historical features – mill wheels, forges and dams – found along the valley as referenced on the trail's public information boards:
 
  1. Grogram Wheel
  2. Mousehole Forge
  3. Walkley Bank Tilt (Havelock Dam)
  4. Hollins Bridge Mill
  5. Spooners Wheel
  6. New Dam
  7. Roscoe Wheel
  8. Holme Head Wheel
  9. Little London Wheel
  10. Nether Cut Wheel
  11. Upper Cut Wheel
  12. Hind Wheel
  13. Plonk Wheel
  14. Swallow Wheel
  15. Wolf Wheel
  16. Frank Wheel
  17. Third Coppice Wheel
  18. Second Coppice Wheel
  19. Upper Coppice Wheel
  20. Rivelin Corn Mill
  21. Uppermost Wheel [not accessible]
 

Nature & Wildlife

 
The river valley is home to a rich variety of birdlife including the mallard, dipper, kingfisher, long-tailed tit, grey heron, grey wagtail and wren.
 
The trail paths pass through woodland, with trees such as Alder, Ash, Beech, Holly and Oak. Spring flowers include Bluebell, Cow Parsley, Dog’s Mercury, Stitchwort and Wood Sorrel.
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