Rivelin Valley

Walkley Bank Tilt

Starting life as a cutler's wheel in 1751, Walkley Bank Tilt, underwent many changes and stood as the last remaining mill in Rivelin Valley to close in the early 1950's.




A tilt hammer (also known as a trip hammer or helve hammer) is a huge hammer traditionally used in polishing grain, crushing metal ores, and fabricating wrought iron items.
The tilt hammer worked by pivoting like a see-saw, with a cam mechanism pushing the rear end down and thus raising the hammer end, then releasing so that the hammer falls by gravity. In operation, a rapid stroke rate could be achieved, making tilt hammers suitable for drawing iron down to small sizes suitable for the Sheffield cutlery trades.
Walkley Bank Tilt and associated water management system are the remains of a water-powered site that was initially used for cutlery grinding, but subsequently converted to a tilt forge and then wire-drawing mill.
Originating in 1751 as a cutler's wheel, records indicate that in 1762 Jonathan Parker & William Hawksworth purchased the lease and converted it into a tilt-forge. Then around 1897 the tilt-forge was again converted, this time into a wire-drawing mill, operated by George Hallam & Co, who later installed an oil engine. Nevertheless, records show that the water wheel was still capable of use as recently as 1916.
Walkley Bank Tilt was one of the last in the valley to close - in the early 1950s - although by then powered by electricity which had been introduced in the 1920s.

What remains now?

Traces of the Walkley Bank Tilt buildings remain scant, with most of them situated between the mill dam and the Mousehole weir. The weir has more recently undergone repair and is in good condition. And there is a modern shuttle gate on the head goit entry (a goit being  a small man-made channel for transporting water.)
The water outlet from the forge building into the short tail goit is identified by a bricked-up stone arch halfway between the mill dam and the weir. The outfall into the river is close to the nearby Mousehole weir.
The mill dam is currently known as Havelock Dam.


Rivelin Valley Conservation Group (RVCG) - https://rivelinvalley.org.uk
Sheffield City Council

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