Porter Mill 04 – Wire Mill

Porter Brook

Location of Wire Mill

The location of the site of Wire Mill
Mill Co-ordinates: 53.36174°,-1.53498°

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This site also referred to as Whiteley Wood Rolling Mill and Bottoms Saw Works.

Wire Mill Dam on the 1902 OS map

Wire Mill Dam on the 1902 OS map

The Memorial to Thomas Boulsover

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The Memorial to Thomas Boulsover
Photo Co-ordinates: 53.361408°, -1.540629°

Close up of the Memorial to Thomas Boulsover

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Close up of the Memorial to Thomas Boulsover

Construction for this mill was begun during the late 1750s by Thomas Boulsover. In 1761 a head goit below the Old Forge was in place.

In 1765 the site was mortgaged to Boulsover’s son-in-law, Joseph Mitchell, by 1783 Mitchell with four partners were the owners of the saw rolling mill. It was referred to as Bottoms Saw Works and comprised of two dams, a saw grinding mill, an emery mill, a hardening room, a fender warehouse, other warehouses, workshops and several houses but there was no mention of an actual rolling mill.

From 1794 water power was being used for both rolling steel sheets and saw grinding. Eight men were working on the site for Thompson and Co. This partnership was the same one that was formed in 1783, with Boulsover’s two son-in-laws named as equal partners in both the estate and business. William Hutton was Boulsover’s other son-in-law.

By 1797 there were six houses on the site and sixteen workshops but still no record of a rolling mill.

Anthony Thompson (a partner) was declared bankrupt in 1804. The firm was renamed Mitchell Wreaks and Co manufacturers of saws, scythes and edge tools and by 1815 occupying ‘Rolling Mills and Forges’ at Whiteley Woods. This remained the case from 1817 to 1835.

The site was put up for auction in 1835 when Samuel Mitchell was declared bankrupt, Miss Silcock, the great grand-daughter of Thomas Boulsover took over the estate and works.

Water power was used from 1841 to 1855 for grinding saws, cutlery and emery, once again there was no mention of a rolling mill.

This water powered site was also used for wire drawing from 1855 until the mill closed down in 1897 when the dam and wire mill were transferred to the Sheffield Corporation.

The head goit was restored in 2001 by Sheffield City Council in partnership with the Friends of the Porter Valley.

What is visible now?

The dam is still accessible and in leisure use with a footpath along its north side. The monument commemorating Thomas Boulsover stands at the side of this footpath.
There are no remains of the water wheel buildings. The cottages to the north east of the dam have been restored and are in residential use.

The Wire Mill Dam looking east

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The Wire Mill Dam looking east
Photo Co-ordinates: 53.361235°,-1.537303°

The cottages at the Wire Mill dam

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The cottages at the Wire Mill dam
Photo Co-ordinates: 53.361877°,-1.534293°