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Old Mill

Water Wheels on
the River Sheaf
in Abbeydale

The River Sheaf has provided a source of power for several manufacturing processes for over a thousand years. The first water powered mills were probably used for grinding corn but it was soon discovered that the water wheels could be used to drive different kinds of machinery.

Many of the mills were used to make knives, scissors, shears, scythes and other cutting tools. Evidence of the mills can be found both in historical records and on the ground as visible remains.

There were 18 water powered mills in Abbeydale. The remains of some of them can still be seen by walking along the course of the River Sheaf. Unfortunately some of the sites have been developed and in these cases, little can now be seen of what the water mills were like.

Map of Abbeydale
The River Sheaf in Abbeydale

1 Little London Wheel 2 Smithy Wood
3 Norton Hammer 4 Moscar Wheel
5 Ecclesall Mill 6 Bartin Wheel
7 Hutcliffe Wheel 8 Abbeydale Works
(The Hamlet)
9 Ryecroft Mill 10 Whirlow Wheel
11 Walk Mill 12 Bradway Mill
13 Upper Wheel 14 Totley Rolling Mill
15 Nether Mill 16 Upper Mill
17 Old Hay 18 Totley Forge
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Page last updated on 20th April 2003
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