Sheaf Mill 18 – Smithy Wood

River Sheaf

Location of Smith Wood

The location of Smithy Wood.
Mill Co-ordinates: 53.35326°,-1.48330°

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Smithy Wood on a 1903 OS Map

Part of a 1903 OS map showing Smithy Wood mill pond and works

There was a water wheel on this site in 1709, but may have been in use under a different name much earlier. In 1603 Robert Barnes a scythe-grinder died at his home which was called Cliffield Wheel. Then five years later the riverside site is referred to as Garlicke wheel which included Smithie Wood. John Barnes (scythesmith) died at Garlick Wheel in 1647.

The site was referred to as Smithy Wood Wheel in 1721 when the owner Francis Gregg of London died. John Hatfield bought the site in 1724 and sold it to Samuel Shore in 1777. At this point there were two wheels; one was used for scythe grinding and the other for cutlery grinding.

By 1789 Thomas Biggin had converted the site to accommodate forging.

The site remained in the ownership of the Shore family until the mid-1870s when the Tyzacks bought it. They operated a tilt, a forge and scythe grinding shops until 1901.

The dam and works have been built over and no traces remain but the weir which used to serve the dam can be seen from Athol Road.