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WALK MILL WEIR RIVER DON


Bikeman
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I took the attached pictures below for a project on the 5 weirs walk - the images were taken from Effingham Street looking towards Savile street. The weir was apparently constructed to provide water for the Upper and Nether Walk cutlers and grinders according to the internet, but I can't find any mention of these on the net. You can see the stone arch, presumably to divert the water to the mills.

Anyone have any information on the cutlers or grinders who might have used this weir?

thanks

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I was always led to believe that industry expanded down the Don valley to accommodate larger works and cannot think of an example of a cutler locating there…but I stand to be corrected. My understanding is that the weirs were built to supply a steady flow of water to the many tilt hammers being used in the forges down there.

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17 hours ago, SteveHB said:

Not an answer,

but I would have thought that water to power Walk Mill would have been extracted above/up stream of the weir, not from below it?

Ciirca 1855

walk_mill.jpg

https://maps.nls.uk/view/102345217

Thanks for the map and it does seem to show a feed from above the weir to Walk Mill wheels, the waste returning to the river further downstream, so that's part of the riddle solved. Possibly the outlet is hidden behind the trees on my image. The stone archway below the weir could have gone to Don Mill or be an outlet from Don Mill, I guess or to some of the smaller buildings.

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2 hours ago, Lysanderix said:

I was always led to believe that industry expanded down the Don valley to accommodate larger works and cannot think of an example of a cutler locating there…but I stand to be corrected. My understanding is that the weirs were built to supply a steady flow of water to the many tilt hammers being used in the forges down there.

I think this was the case in the main. However, there was a certain amount of earlier industrial development at Local Fields which, I believe, expanded concurrently the other way, converging with the spread out from the Wicker around Burton Head. I'm not sure of the nature of all of it, though seem to remember from investigation of the 1851 census there were a lot of brickyards around Local Fields plus Marrian's Brewery of course. I may have some better data on it when I can access one of my storage hard drives. Also, I'm pretty sure that the Attercliffe end of Long Island had noteworthy development around the same time (though this may have been primarily sawmills).

As an aside, the last time I was around the area photograhed I spotted a kingfisher - the only time I've ever seen one in Sheffield.

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Hi Leksand, I also saw a kingfisher when I was taking the photographs just before Christmas - the water must now be clean enough to carry minnows and sticklebacks, which the Kingfisher feeds on.

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I am not an angler but I am told that the Don is now home to an array of coarse fish….not sure if there aren’t trout as well.

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Regretably I don't seem to have held on to a lot of the census data I recollect surveying and what I have retained isn't hugely relevant. There does still appear to have been some smaller scale file manufacture going on on the Long Island side of the river in the 1860's but whether anything similar was around on the northern banks I don't know.

There is a short listing of traders from Rodgers 1841 directory attached below. Also dug out a slightly more detailed map from the same survey as above (~1853), perhaps suggesting that Walk Mills may have been a group of smaller works at the time.

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image.png.7f47fca611a1d470eea0a91572063841.png

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Early information concerning Upper Walk Mill Weir and Nether Walk Mill and Wheels is covered in "Water Power on the Sheffield Rivers edited by David Crossley. Published 1989 SEE Local Studies Library.

"A Walk Mill (fulling mill) existed on Norfolk land North of the Don in 1581 but there is no sign of a second. Of the pair of Mill sites the Nether is more likely to have been the fulling mill, arguing from a lease of 1780 which refers to a fulling mill and 2 cutlers wheels and another cutlers wheel 'a little distance up' the latter apparently the Upper Walk Mill Wheel. From 1784 the Upper and Nether Wheels were separately described."

See the book for information relating to other years 16th and 17th century to 1840's, giving various occupants, uses and other information. 

"In 1846 the auction of the freehold of the late Mrs. Brownell was advertised, describing 52 heavy troughs, 52 light troughs, a bone mill and a fulling mill, steam or water driven and a water driven corn mill. The 1850 Brightside rate book shows Charles Brownell, still owner of a walk mill and corn mill. The use of water power ceased after 1853, when William Brown leased the Walk Mill, which later he purchased. At his bankruptcy in 1864 it is shown that he had erected the Albion Iron and Steel Works on the mill site. 

"The Mills are built over, but the weir, which is in good order, is visible from Effingham Street, south of the river. The blocked head goit, west of the weir, can be seen in the river wall and to the east there are two outfall, approximately in the positions of the overflow and tail goit from the Upper Wheel. Water from the Upper Wheel fed the Nether Wheel, whose outfall was filled in the 19th century. "

Also illustrated in the book,

" 1851 OS Map shows Walk Mill Weir on the Don with Don Mill, (formerly Upper Walk Mill Wheel) adjacent and Walk Mill (formerly Nether) Wheels with their tail goits. The long nether goit was filled in soon after the making of the map. "

For many years Don Mill stood in a ruinous state, (not sure if its still there) See Picture Sheffield for photographs. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Lysanderix said:

I am not an angler but I am told that the Don is now home to an array of coarse fish….not sure if there aren’t trout as well.

One I caught some years back near Hillfoot .

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