Sheaf Mill 12 – Abbeydale Works

River Sheaf

Location of Abbeydale Works

The location of Abbeydale Works.
Mill Co-ordinates: 53.333657°,-1.512471°

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There was activity around this site as early as the 12th century when water wheels were being used to provide power for smelting, forging and grinding. The surrounding land had been given to the Canons of Beauchief Abbey who leased out wheel powered sites to local tenants.

The first mention of the Abbeydale works was in 1714 when Samuel Biggin a scythe maker leased the wheel. The land by the head goit was referred to as ‘sinder-field’ in 1725.

The same name was used to describe land taken from Anthony Taylor’s farm in 1777 when the dam was enlarged. The Goddards held the tenancy at this time and they were responsible for the building of the Tilt Forge (date stone 1785). Three cottages had been built on the site by 1795.

Between 1802 and 1840 the site was further expanded, a new warehouse and workshops, a rebuilt grinding wheel, crucible steel furnaces; a manager’s house for the Dysons plus a coach house and stables.

The Tyzacks took over the tenancy in 1847 for the manufacture of scythes and other agricultural cutting tools. They installed a steam engine in 1855 to supplement the power to the grinding hull when there was insufficient power from the water wheels to cope with the demand. The Tyzacks left the site in 1935.

The site was bought by J G Graves who gave it to City of Sheffield for use as a recreation and education facility, although in 1941, during the Second World War, the crucible furnace shop was re-opened temporarily for steel melting.

After restoration of the site and buildings by the CCSA, the site was officially opened as a working museum  – Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet – in 1970.

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Abbeydale Hamlet’s Water Powered Tilt Forge by j2g for riversheaf.org