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Course Of The Wybourn Stream. (?)

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Being a Wybourner born and bred i've recently become interested in this, and after reading what's available on the net i thought i'd have a go at plotting the course in my local area, it would be great if others could add anything to it.

This is all based on the lay of the ground, and the assumption (eek!) that the source was the area around the Manor Castle discovery centre, i'll try and explain as i go along. Feel free to shoot me down at any point. :)

As a lad i used to live in a house at the bottom of Maltravers Terrace where the stream ran behind in the field, known to us as "Piggies field", i used to play in it as a lad, and as far as i know this is the only source of natural running water on the estate, hence the assumptions you'll read here. :ph34r:

So. Firstly, going on local knowledge and the lay of the land, and also based on actually seeing the stream following this path in parts, here's a short bit of the route i've come up with. Apologies for the post being a little long winded and pic heavy.


Point one is the high point behind the discovery centre, the pic below shows the route the water takes from there during wet weather, through points 1/2/3. 3b (above) shows where the water now runs down a ramp in Ammeus school. The pic below shows points 2 to 3.


The next pic taken on Southend Road shows point 4 of my course, the school being behind the church. To me this would be the continuation of any natural course, to the left out of shot the ground rises considerably.


This next pic is taken further down the road looking up to where the previous pic was taken. You can just see the top of the church. This is point 5 on my course.


I've swung the camera round to the Right for the next pic, which shows the low point as it now is, though the natural course may have gone straight through a few metres to the right, where houses now stand. I'm assuming (again) not, as the land behind those houses rises a little, but it's possible the nature of the land has changed there when the houses were built.

This is between points 5/6.


In front of that car there's the entrance to a little gennel, which cuts through onto Maltravers Terrace. The next pic is taken from that gennel. To the right of the trees on the left the water flows above ground in wet weather, so much so i'm told they've now put drainage in as some of the gardens could suffer flooding. I lived in the house by the lowest point as a nipper but can't remember our garden ever doing so, though this is where we used to play in the stream itself. This pic covers points 6/7/8.


Next up is a pic from the bottom of Maltravers Terrace. The stream runs behind the houses to the left.


From here it's purely speculative, the ground flattens out somewhat, but there's a slight downhill gradient along Maltravers road, though if the stream followed that course is anyone's guess. The next point the ground dips away is by Cricket Inn Crescent, which itself leads to the (now) flattest point on Cricket Inn Road. I've nothing solid to say the stream would follow that route of course, but i did read somewhere today that the route may have gone under the Parkway and the (now) canal on it's way to meeting the Don by Salmon Pastures.

Well there it is, my little take on it from experience of seeing water flow along most of that route, and with speculation that the stream in the field is fed by run off from the high point by Manor lodge.

As i've said above, don't be backwards in coming forwards to blow this out of the water, i'm interested in hard facts that may be out there about it's course, so please add anything you can.

Cheers. :)

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Adam Broadhead

Following up from you DM on "that other forum" regarding confidence in my "Lost rivers, streams and brooks of Sheffield" map...

For starters, the main clue is in the name - "bourne" being the name for a seasonal stream.

I believe the Wybourn brook might make its way to the River Don, rather than having since been diverted off into the combined sewer system. I think this because you can see its outfall, that tallies up well with the predicted location from old maps etc, and is shown on Yorkshire Water's sewer network maps as being a "surface water sewer". See this picture for details.

The route of the Wybourn on my map is a little uncertain, due to lack of strong evidence in that area. Historical maps definitely show natural springs in that area, and appeared to cascade into one another for water supply reasons. I also recall reading just the other day that water from the nearby Manor Kirk Bridge Dyke headwaters being diverted off for water supply here. You can see on the 1883 drainage maps that there are segments of small watercourse, ponded in places, along the proposed route of the Wybourn and immediate vicinity. The best maps are the 1855 County Series maps at 1:10,560 scale and 1:2500 scales. They show the industry springing up in that area extensively using small streams of water in the area to form reservoirs (not large). By this point, any natural course of the Wybourn is likely to have already been lost though.

See an image of my mapped data here.

Yorkshire Water's sewer network maps that you can access at the council offices label combined (sewage+rainfall+drainage) and surface water sewers (rainfall+drainage only). Under the Wybourn area, it is mainly a combined sewer system like most of Sheffield, but there is a small network of surface water sewers that are labelled as being "old watercourse". These follow more precisely the route you picked out, winding their way as a network from as far upstream as my mapped Wybourn begins (at the site of a former colliery), going downhill and underneath Cricket Inn Road at the intersection with Cricket Inn Crescent, then underneath the dual carriageway, underneath the canal, and to the River Don at that first picture above. That appears to be more along the route you suggested, and mine should be taken as more approximate.

Yorkshire Water show other "old watercourse" surface water sewers in this vicinity, exactly along the small segments of watercourse shown on the historical maps. Some of these flow down to the canal - others discharge straight into the combined sewers, flowing to the sewage works.

How much "dry weather flow" is there in the Wybourn in the upstream segment? i.e. not during rainfall, but constant flow (likely to be highly seasonal).

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Thanks for the informative reply Adam.

I've just managed to gain access to the field for a good hour, and to answer your dry weather flow question......


the stream is mainly covered by grasses and undergrowth at the minute, but on a couple of occasions i went in up to my ankle bone ! It's not flowing at all strongly, i couldn't detect any movement by dropping pieces of grass in there, but it's very clear and not at all stagnant, so there must be a constant trickle at least.

Above the source the ground is bone dry, though further up the field,(and off my assumed course) there's a very boggy spot on a sloping part of the field.

The course i've marked out only has water in it during extended heavy rain, above ground anyway, which does throw some doubt that this also feeds the spring, who knows.

I've also just spent a couple of hours wandering the areas of the course you plotted, which has led me to come up with a slight revision of the possible route which makes more sense. i'm going to plot it some time later today so will try and get a pic up at some point.

Here's an up close pic of the source. You can see how well the brambles at the source to the left of the fence are doing, compared to the area to it's right.

The buildings in the background are the Manor Farm Cottages.


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Well here's the new plot i came up with.


And here i've shown how the land falls away, on your plot. To cross where you have it marked, it would kinda have to flow along the hillside rather than take the course of least resistance.


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The stream starts off at the bottom of the field to manor oaks farm that borders manor cottage farm roughly half way up, the ground there is boggy and follows the old stone wall ( now gone ) into the bottom field, it then goes right towards the back garden to manor cottage then turns left. A small section of field there always used to be boggy all year round. The stream then disappears then comes out near the old dis used coal mine in the left part of the field, its a C shaped hole in the ground and you could see the water gently bubble out ( looks a bit like a spring ) it then runs along the bottom of the muck heap to the old mine making the ground quite boggy before it runs at the edge of the field just behind the houses were it now looks like a stream. It was like that when I lived at manor cottage for 20 years

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Don't know if it's relevant but while laying the drainage for the Parkway there was an underground stream at the bottom of Manor Way, memory is a bit scetchy, but possibly around where on google maps the Mashlin sign is on the fencing.

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