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Calvin72

Bramall Lane Bridge

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I attach a screen shot of the 1849 Ordnance Survey map of part of the city centre. I'm looking at the history of the Porter Brook in the area. I've walked through the culverted parts a few times and there is a lovely stone arch bridge/tunnel between the Decathlon car park and the former Staples car park. The latter entrance is visible through a clump of trees. I think from the 1849 map that this is the two centuries old, and still intact, Vulcan Works Bridge (Vulcan Works was certainly on the site at the old Staples car park end). It is best part of 100 yards long and the Ordnance survey map shows it to be of some length (Hereford St did, and still does, run over the top). Any info/dates of Vulcan works and/or better map links greatly appreciated :)

 

 

Vulcan Works Bridge.jpeg

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I may be wrong here as I have never seen the Decathlon car park or the former Staples car park, but your description sounds like the Bramall Lane Bridge over the Porter. I just wondered if the Vulcan Works Bridge may have been over the goit from the dam shown on your map..

EDIT - I have found this map showing what I think is the Bramall Lane Bridge, you could perhaps use the slider on the web page to overlay a modern map to see if I am in the right place.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=53.3738&lon=-1.4740&layers=168&b=1

bramall_lane_bridge.png

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Griffiths' 1876 Report on the Condition of the Porter Brook is available here:  https://archive.org/details/b21534329/page/n2

The Ellin Street area is described on page 8. Unfortunately they have messed up the scanning and the relevant sketch number 8 is missing.

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I think you are in the same place boginspro. I've never seen reference to a Bramall Lane Bridge so I'm back to Square One! Either way it's old, nice, hidden, and I'd love to find out more :)

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31 minutes ago, Edmund said:

Griffiths' 1876 Report on the Condition of the Porter Brook is available here:  https://archive.org/details/b21534329/page/n2

The Ellin Street area is described on page 8. Unfortunately they have messed up the scanning and the relevant sketch number 8 is missing.

Many thanks for that Edmund! The water powered sites mostly closed in the 1860's and this report paints a depressing picture of a pretty much abandoned river soon after.

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Many thanks boginspro! The first photo I had seen before but not got the location right - the area could not have changed much more. I'll get photos over the next couple of days of the site. The map is really interesting. I was wondering if Vulcan Works and Bramall Lane bridges were one and the same, but clearly not. The current culvert may well incorporate some of both. It certainly goes under Hereford St whereas the map shows the two as not joined up.

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57 minutes ago, Calvin72 said:

the area could not have changed much more. I'll get photos over the next couple of days of the site.

It certainly has changed, even in my time, I had a look on Google Street View but couldn’t recognise much other than St. Mary's. I will be very interested to see the modern photo's. Have you seen Patrick Dickinson "Walking Through the River Porter Culverts" on YouTube, I haven't time to look at it again at the moment but he must have gone through that one.

 

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I have seen all Patrick's videos a few times. I had the pleasure of meeting him too - top man. There is a bit in his film of the former Staples car park which is a great piece of hidden Sheffield.

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Courtesy of Crossley's "Water Power in Sheffield":

Here is a plan showing Bennetts Wheel in 1823.

1980780071_BennettWheel1823.thumb.jpg.a10850f7fb50c327d07885db8d895058.jpg

The wheel was in existence in 1604 and its name changed when Edward Bennett took on the tenancy in 1737. In 1759 it was planned to double the size of the dam to cover over an acre. In 1794 widow Bennett had 15 troughs with 15 men employed. In 1823 (when the above plan was made) George Rock owned the wheel and the dam was to be reduced in size, possibly connected with the building of the Vulcan Works and steam rolling mill in the middle of the decade. The rate books in the 1830s show no wheel matching Bennett Wheel and under an 1810 agreement its dam was used only for boiler water for the Vulcan Works until at least 1851.  Thomas Ellin had bought the property in 1831 hence the name of the street that followed the southern side of the dam.

Here is a plan showing the Sylvester and Cinderhill Wheels:

699148628_SylvesterWheel1788.thumb.jpg.ffdd0adfc8800aa420a92661f7f0dbcf.jpg

The Sylvester Wheel probably originated as one of the "wheels in the pasture" in the early 1600s. The name was changed when Field Sylvester took on the wheel in 1697. Sylvester was a substantial businessman, for example buying £500 of iron from Attercliffe Forge for resale in 1711, so this wheel would have  been only a small part of his operations.  When he died in 1717 the tenancy was assigned to David Fullilove then Thomas Wilson, the Wilsons holding the tenancy for the rest of the century.  From 1725 to 1745 the wheel was small with only 3 troughs plus an ease trough.  A Fairbanks plan of 1748 shows a project to enlarge the dam by removing 400 cubic yards of earth. A plan of 1769 shows developments including a second dam (not clear if that dam was made). By 1794 the wheel had 20 troughs and employed 20 men.  The wheel was purchased from the Norfolk estate in 1811 by Thomas Holy who sold it to Messrs Ellin and Ingall in 1827 after which it was referred to as Ellin's Wheel.  After 1800 many changes took place - before the sale to Holy, the course of the Porter had been straightened, with a further re-alignment at the start of Holy's ownership. In 1830 there was a 10 foot by 6'9" water wheel producing 10 1/4 horse power and a 10hp Boulton and Watt steam engine. Water power ceased being used about 1850, although the 1850-1 rate book notes head and fall, the 1851 OS map refers to the dams as reservoirs which suggests storage for steam engines. By 1864 the dams had been filled in and divided up for re-development.

The area in 1808:

2060292807_Fairbanks1808.jpg.25714f86e912aa4c08b15ca2f2a74a6f.jpg

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On 17/09/2019 at 12:09, boginspro said:

I think this is the bridge I referred to above looking from the St Mary's Lane end in 1949.

http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s17137&pos=50&action=zoom&id=19810

 

st_marys_lane.jpg

 

This is the approximate 'now' shot today.

 

 

Vulcan Bridge now.jpeg

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Here is the bridge concealed behind the trees in the above photo.

 

Vulcan Bridge close up.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Calvin72 said:

This is the approximate 'now' shot today.

That's makes quite an amazing "then and now" , from the latest image you  couldn't guess that it had been a heavily populated industrial area not long ago.

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On 17/09/2019 at 07:05, Calvin72 said:

I think you are in the same place boginspro. I've never seen reference to a Bramall Lane Bridge so I'm back to Square One! Either way it's old, nice, hidden, and I'd love to find out more :)

According to the tiny bit of information given in Grace`s guide to British Industrial History, the Vulcan Works in 1797 was in the ownership of Ebenezer Berdikin, Anvil Maker.

So i guess it was foundry of some description?      

httsearch=Vulcan+ps://www.gracesguide.co.Works+Sheffield&fulltext=uk/Special:Search?

A couple of maps of the area in 1853 showing the location of Bramall Lane Bridge and a couple of the other bridges over the Porter in 1853.

 

Also a Picture Sheffield Photograph of the Porter Brook in 1956, you can just about make out the name Yorkshire on the wall of the building in the background, anyone any idea where we are looking towards?

 

Porter Brook.jpg

Porter Brook 2.jpg

Porter Brook 3.jpg

http://www.picturesheffield.com/s41973

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Wow, another great photo! I think that maybe by the side of the current 'Ban Thai' restaurant at the bottom of Cemetery Rd making the bank opposite the 'firework' shop on the other side of Cemetery Rd. Maybe? :)
 

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6 hours ago, southside said:

Also a Picture Sheffield Photograph of the Porter Brook in 1956, you can just about make out the name Yorkshire on the wall of the building in the background, anyone any idea where we are looking towards?1520862514_PorterBrook3.jpg.5f1ecf4bcdaf6bc64301b1267c082b6a.jpg

******************************************************

I think that is the culvert that went under the bottom of The Moor, back of Ellin Street, so through the gap would be the Yorkshire Penny Bank at the bottom of The Moor, now long gone. Brunswick Chapel on the left and to the right where the bike is parked is a gennel to Ellin Street by the side of the vestry hall where we had to go for chest x-rays in the 50's.. Map 271   --  

https://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/topic/4008-os-maps-of-sheffield-and-district-1950s-over-300-of-them/page/11/?tab=comments#comment-23552

moorfoot.png

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Many thanks everyone for all the information! Southside's 1853 map certainly shows Bramall Lane Bridge clearly, as does boginspro's from a similar time. It does seem that Vulcan Works Bridge was off to the side over the goit. So my title is wrong but I'll leave it to show the work done here by others :) I need to narrow down the date of construction now and next time I go through the culvert I'll look closer at the work as the current culvert is clearly longer than the original bridge and the joins should be clear (also the goit exit from the river may still be visible). I'll try and light the tunnel up enough to take photos.

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The map in the first post might be showing  Brunswick Chapel, South St,Moor -  which was renamed The Moor in 1922.

 

Br.jpg

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12 hours ago, LeadFarmer said:

The map in the first post might be showing  Brunswick Chapel, South St,Moor -  which was renamed The Moor in 1922.

 

Br.jpg

That's looking from the bottom of Ecclesall Road, so the opposite direction to the picture put on by  southside, to the left of the chapel is the gap where the Porter ran under the culvert  and the Vestry Hall is far left. It will be the same building shown on the first map, the Chapel was built in 1833 and demolished 1956. 

EDIT - The site of both the Chapel and Vestry Hall are now under the end of St. Mary's Gate.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/spy/#zoom=18&lat=53.3732&lon=-1.4760&layers=168&b=1&r=15

saint_marys_gate.png

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This morning I went under Bramall Lane Bridge and investigated further. The far end of the bridge's route (now under the Decathlon car park) is 100 metres from the Staples car park end already shown on this thread (the measurements are marked along the way to aid workmen). I post pictures of the other end of the bridge and an outflow inside the culvert that I think was originally from the Vulcan works dam and water power site. Although I'm happy to be wrong again :)

Bramall Lane bridge other end.jpeg

Vulcan dam outflow.jpeg

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Hello All, I've continued to look into the story of Bramall Lane Bridge (earlier posts will seem confusing now as I have learned the name of the bridge since I started the thread - which is great!). A research group that I am involved in has installed an information board at the former Staples end of the bridge and I have met with Decathlon about having a display of information in their car park, taking advantage of the railings there since the partial collapse of the culvert three years ago. 

One main question. The bridge appears to date from the c.1840's - why was it constructed? It does far more than carry the former route of Bramall Lane. Presumably an industrial site needed the structure in place before building? If so what would that have been?

Many thanks for the information people have posted here. Your work has been a great help :)

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info board.jpeg

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According to Leader's Reminiscences: "Porter street was a pleasant field road called Ladies' Walk.  There were trees on one side of it, and you crossed the Porter by a foot bridge.  That led into Bramall lane and forward across fields to Heeley" - unfortunately no precise date of this observation is given.

In 1846 an Improvement Act was passed, which amongst other measures included: " Porter street, Porter Bridge, and Brammall lane.  This is a widening  of the Bridge and approach to it, both from Porter street and Bramall lane. The schedule includes very little property"  - so the bridge's name was also Porter Bridge.

The bridge was widened again in 1864, the work started in early January and continued for several months.

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