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The River Sheaf starts its journey at the junction of Old Hay Brook and Totley Brook, just south of the A621 (Abbeydale Road South), close to the point where the road crosses over the Hope Valley railway line from Sheffield to Manchester.
The Sheaf then flows north east, through Abbeydale towards its junction with the River Don close to the centre of the City of Sheffield.
Along the way, the Sheaf is fed by several small brooks and streams, gathering water from the hills of Beauchief, Ecclesall, Woodseats and Heeley.
For a long period in Sheffield’s history, the water from the Sheaf was used to drive water wheels which once stood along its banks. Very little now remains of these old mills and workshops but one of them – Abbeydale Works,an old scythe works – has been restored and is now operated by Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust as Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.
As the River Sheaf approaches the centre of Sheffield, it disappears from view under the junction of Queen’s Road and St. Mary’s Road. The main Sheffield Railway Station was built over the Sheaf in the Ponds area, now covered by the Transport Interchange.
The river can be seen for a short distance as it comes out from under the railway station before disappearing underground again to pass the site of Ponds Forge, now a water sports complex, and Park Square.
The Sheaf reappears for the final time at the point where it joins the River Don. It was here that the Sheaf and the Don once formed part of the defences for Sheffield Castle. The entrance to the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal at Victoria Quays is just a short walk from here.
The Don then flows north through Attercliffe and Brightside towards Rotherham and Doncaster.
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History of the River Sheaf by Red City Projects.