Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is an industrial museum in the south of the City of Sheffield, England. The museum forms part of a former steel-working site on the River Sheaf, with a history going back to at least the 13th century. It consists of a number of dwellings and workshops that were formerly the Abbeydale Works—a scythe-making plant that was in operation until the 1930s—and is a remarkably complete example of a 19th-century works. The works are atypical in that much of the production process was completed on the same site (in a similar manner to a modern factory). A more typical example of water-powered works in the area can be found at Shepherd Wheel.

The site is a scheduled ancient monument, the works are Grade I listed[1] and the workers' cottages, counting house, and manager's house are Grade II* listed.[2][3]

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet - - 2425560
The site's Crucible Furnace building


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Jessop tilt hammer, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

The site was used for iron forging for 500 years, although there is evidence of other metal working prior to 1200 AD. Its early history is intimately tied with the nearby Beauchief Abbey, which operated a smithy (blacksmith's shop) in the vicinity as well as number of mills along the River Sheaf.

A 1725 map shows that the fields, subsequently flooded to provide the dam at the site, had been called "Sinder Hills", the cinders referring to the waste resulting from prior lead smelting activities in the area in the 16th and early 17th centuries. However, the "Abbey Dale Works" as such, the buildings of which now form the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, are first formally recorded in 1714 (though it may have derived directly from the "New Wheel" operated by Hugh Stephenson, as detailed in rent books from 1685).[4]

Development of the site continued with:[4]

  • 1777 enlargement of the dam
  • 1785 construction of the tilt hammer
  • 1793 construction of the workmen's cottages
  • 1817 construction of the grinding hull
  • 1838 construction of the manager's house
  • 1840 construction of the coach house and stabling
  • 1876 construction of the first storey warehouse (above the blacking shop).

From the 17th century onwards, the site primarily operated as a scythe works until, in 1933, it was closed by Tyzak Sons and Turner (tenants since 1849). In 1935 it was bought by the Alderman J. G. Graves Trust, which donated the site to the city. The works was briefly reopened during the Second World War to aid in Britain's war effort.

The Council for the Conservation of Sheffield Antiquities explored and initiated the restoration of Abbeydale Works in 1964. They discovered the remains of 6 buildings in addition to those still standing. These were identified from a 1924 map of the site as:[4]

  • a "disused hardening shop"
  • a "disused open furnace shed"
  • a "lime and coke shed"
  • a "boiler house and chimney"
  • the "housing for the steam engine"
  • a "store for clay and anvils"

Following the complete restoration the works were finally opened as a museum in 1970. Sheffield City Council closed the museum in 1997 as a cost-cutting measure. It was then leased to the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust who reopened the museum in 1998.

The museum

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Water-powered, belt-driven machinery, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is run as a working museum, with works and buildings dating from between 1714 and 1876. The museum demonstrates the process making blister steel from iron and coke, then refining this steel using techniques that originated with Benjamin Huntsman's invention of the crucible steel process. The river provides water power via a water wheel. There are several wheels on the site for driving a tilt hammer, for the initial forging of the scythe blades; grinding machinery, which also has steam installed as backup for times of drought, and a set of bellows. The blades were also hand forged for finishing.

The museum is open Sunday to Thursday, and entry is £4 for adults, £3 for concessions and free for accompanied children 16 and under.

See also


  1. ^ Historic England. "Abbeydale Works Museum  (Grade I) (1246418)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Former Counting house and workmen's cottages at Abbeydale Works Museum  (Grade II*) (1271385)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Manager's house and adjoining stable on east side of Abbeydale Works Museum  (Grade II*) (1246449)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. Sheffield: Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust. 1981. ISBN 0-900660-76-7.

External links

Coordinates: 53°20′01″N 1°30′44″W / 53.333679°N 1.512272°W

192 Shoreham Street

192 Shoreham Street in Sheffield, England, is a building with striking architectural design. It has been identified by The Atlantic as one of 2012's most interesting buildings and received an RIBA award in 2013. The £1 million renovation designed by Project Orange features an angular postmodern addition on top of a brick warehouse on the lower floor. The original part of the building was converted to be used as a bar/restaurant and had a steel structure added to support the weight of the rooftop offices.

Abbeydale, Sheffield

Abbeydale is the segment of the City of Sheffield, England that follows the valley of the river Sheaf. It covers many districts of Sheffield in the south-west of the city running roughly from Heeley Bridge in the district of Heeley to Dore Road between Beauchief and Totley. It is named for the Abbey that existed at Beauchief from the 12th century to 1537.

Although not the official name of any district, many businesses and institutions in the valley use Abbeydale in their name. These include:

The A621 Abbeydale Road, the main road along the valley.

The Abbeydale Brewery.

Abbeydale Picture House, a Grade II listed former cinema in Nether Edge.

Abbeydale Grange School, in Millhouses.

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, a former scythe works, now a museum and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Beauchief railway station, which was originally called Beauchief and Abbey Dale railway station

Churches Together in Abbeydale.

Abbeydale Park in Dore

Beauchief Gardens

Beauchief Gardens is a small area of formal parkland in South-West Sheffield. The gardens lie between Abbeydale Road South to the North-West, the river Sheaf and the railway line to the South and Beauchief Dam to the East. The gardens were donated to the city by the J. G. Graves Trust in 1935, following the earlier donation, two years previously, of Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet (immediately downstream). The gardens had always been well kept and had their own gardener. The level of care had declined until the 1990s, when the Friends of Millhouses Park accepted the challenge of restoring the gardens. Clean-up events were organised in November 2004 and March 2005 to bring back the gardens to an acceptable level, which is the state the gardens are in now.

The gardens are a formal and neat grassed area, planted with coniferous trees and with the Limb Brook running through. The stream traverses the gardens and fills up Beauchief Dam.

Blade mill

A blade mill was a variety of water mill used for sharpening newly fabricated blades, including scythes, swords, sickles, and knives.

In the Sheffield area, they were known as cutlers wheels, scythesmiths wheels, etc. Examples are preserved in Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. They also existed in the 17th century and 18th century in Birmingham and in connection with the scythe industry in Belbroughton and Chaddesley Corbett in north Worcestershire. There were also small numbers in other areas of England.

A water wheel was used to turn a grind stone, which wore down from being up to two metres in diameter to a 'cork' of a fraction of this size. The dust generated by the process was bad for the grinder's health, and many of them died young from 'grinder's disease'.

Buildings and structures in Sheffield

Buildings and structures in Sheffield have been constructed over a time-span ranging from the 13th century to the present day. The majority of Sheffield's older buildings were built during the Industrial Revolution, with a large number of medieval buildings demolished in the 19th century; some older buildings were lost during the Sheffield Blitz. Sheffield can only lay claim to five Grade I listed buildings, two of which are in the city centre.

The oldest structure is Beauchief Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century and is now a ruin. The oldest complete structure is Sheffield Cathedral, parts of which date back to the 13th century. In relation to height, the 78-metre (256 ft) Arts Tower was the tallest completed building in Sheffield until the St Pauls tower (City Lofts) project was completed in 2011.


iQuarter, originally known as the Hancock & Lant Tower, is a 52-metre apartment block in Sheffield, England, completed in 2008. It is named after, and was built in lieu of, the Hancock and Lant furniture company formerly occupying the site.

Kelham Island Museum

The Kelham Island Museum is an industrial museum on Alma Street, alongside the River Don, in the centre of Sheffield, England. It was opened in 1982.

Limb Brook

The Limb Brook is a stream in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It rises at the village of Ringinglow, flowing east through Whirlow and Ecclesall Woods into Abbeydale in the Beauchief area, where it merges with the River Sheaf. Near this point part of the stream has been diverted to provide the goit for the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet millpond, and this channel flows through what is now Beauchief Gardens.

List of tourist attractions in Sheffield

As a large city, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, has many tourist attractions from performing arts centres to museums, shopping centres and public parks. Below is a list of some of the more famous and visited:

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Arts Tower

Beauchief Abbey

Birley Spa

Bishops' House

Crucible Theatre

Cutlers' Hall

Devonshire Green

Don Valley Stadium

The Dore Stone

Endcliffe Park

Graves Art Gallery

Graves Park


Kelham Island Museum

Lyceum Theatre

Magna Science Adventure Centre

Meadowhall Shopping Centre

Millennium Galleries

Millhouses Park

Old Queen's Head

Peace Gardens

Ponds Forge

Rivelin Valley

Rother Valley Country Park

Sheaf Square

Sheffield Arena

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield City Hall

Sheffield Fire and Police Museum

Sheffield Manor

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield Walk of Fame

Sheffield Winter Gardens

Shepherd Wheel

Showroom Cinema

Site Gallery

Valley Centertainment

Victoria Quays

Weston Park Museum

Wheel of Sheffield

Wincobank (hill fort)

Yorkshire ArtSpace

Listed buildings in Sheffield

There are about 1,000 listed buildings in Sheffield. Of these only five are Grade I listed, and 42 are Grade II*, the rest being Grade II listed. The buildings vary from a listed facade to the largest listed building in Europe (Park Hill).

The dates given refer to the year(s) of completion.

Listed buildings in Sheffield S7

This is a list of listed buildings in the S7 district of Sheffield, in England. This includes parts of the areas of Carter Knowle, Millhouses, Nether Edge and Sharrow.

For neighbouring areas, see listed buildings in S2, listed buildings in S8, listed buildings in S11 and listed buildings in S17.

Pennine Centre

The Pennine Centre is a tower on Tenter Street in Sheffield, England. Construction started in 1973 on this immense building and was completed in 1975.The tower is 50 m (164 ft) tall and has 13 floors of office space. It was built in the International style, like the Arts Tower in Sheffield and Tower 42 in London.

River Sheaf

The River Sheaf in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, flows northwards, past Dore, through Abbeydale and north of Heeley. It then passes into a culvert, through which it flows under the centre of Sheffield before joining the River Don. This lower section of the River Sheaf, together with the River Don between the Blonk Street and Lady's Bridges, formed two sides of the boundary of Sheffield Castle.

The main tributaries of the Sheaf are the Porter Brook, which joins it beneath Sheffield Midland station, and the Meers Brook. The river has been polluted upstream through centuries of industrial activity, including iron and steel working, and is only slowly recovering. The river used to provide the power for a number of metal works, including the Grade I-listed Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

A Sheaf Valley Walk has been developed which follows the river from Granville Square out to Millhouses Park and beyond to the Peak District.

Sheffield Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul, Sheffield, usually called simply Sheffield Cathedral, is the cathedral church for the Church of England diocese of Sheffield, England. Originally a parish church, it was elevated to cathedral status when the diocese was created in 1914. Sheffield Cathedral is one of five Grade I listed buildings in the city, along with Town Hall, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and the parish churches at Ecclesfield and Bradfield. It is located in the city centre on Church Street and served by Sheffield Supertram's Cathedral stop. It is one of three stops to be served by all tram lines.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust

The Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust (SIMT) is an independent charitable trust based in Sheffield, England, that runs the Sheffield City Council-owned Kelham Island, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and Shepherd Wheel museums.

The trust was created from a partnership between the City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire as Kelham Island Museum Ltd. in November 1994, and reconstituted as the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust in 1998 when the City Council passed to them control of the recently closed Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

Shepherd Wheel

Shepherd Wheel is a working museum in a former water-powered grinding workshop situated on the Porter Brook in the south-west of the City of Sheffield, England. One of the earliest wheels on the River Porter, it is one of the few remaining—and effectively complete—examples of this kind of enterprise, one that used to be commonplace in the Sheffield area. Its 5.5 m (18 ft) diameter overshot water wheel is powered from a large dam stocked with water diverted from the Porter Brook. The workshops, dam, goit and weir are Grade II listed, and the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Trip hammer

A trip hammer, also known as a tilt hammer or helve hammer, is a massive powered hammer used in:

agriculture to facilitate the labor of pounding, decorticating and polishing of grain;

mining, where ore from deep veins was crushed into small pieces (though a stamp mill was more usual for this);

finery forges, for drawing out blooms made from wrought iron into more workable bar iron;

fabricating various articles of wrought iron, latten (an early form of brass), steel and other metals.One or more trip hammers were set up in a forge, also known variously as a hammer mill, hammer forge or hammer works. The hammers were usually raised by a cam and then released to fall under the force of gravity. Historically, trip hammers were often powered by a water wheel, and are known to have been used in China as long ago as 40 BC or maybe even as far back as the Zhou Dynasty (1050 BC–221 BC) and in medieval Europe by the 12th century. During the Industrial Revolution the trip hammer fell out of favor and was replaced with the power hammer. Often multiple hammers were powered via a set of line shafts, pulleys and belts from a centrally located power supply.

West One

West One is also the name of a retail park in Salford.

West One is a mixed-use development at the centre of the Devonshire Quarter in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It comprises bars, restaurants and shops at ground-level (including the large Revolution bar) and apartments housing over 1,000 people above, including a penthouse. It faces onto Devonshire Green, (restored in 2007) and provides easy access to the Moor and Division Street.

Grade I
Grade II*

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