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Sheffields Rivers

Guest carlie167

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Another little brook that I've remembered is the Shirtcliff Brook which starts up near Handsworth Top and flows below the Stradbroke Estate by the side of the modern A57 Mosborough Expressway.

A tributary of this brook ran down a steep sided ravine through the Stradbroke Estate. It was where the flat open space is just to the south of Ravenscroft Road.

As a kid I sledged down this ravine with my step-cousin who lived on the estate. In the mid/late 10950's it was placed in a concrete culvert with brick and concrete man-hole drop shafts towering like chimneys up to the eventual ground level.

Part of the spoil used to level the ravine came from the works taking place to re-order the size of the cathedral forecourt and graveyard at the time.

There was a big Hoo-Har when the boys at Brook School started collecting and swopping various skulls and thigh bones as I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum. I remember it made the front page of the Star.

I also remember playing in another little valley off Normanton Hill which also had a small stream which was being culverted at about the same time. I believe this might have been part of the Shire Brook.

The Google Streetview shows the filled in ravine.


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History dude

The Shire Brook on the first OS map is listed as being Ochre Dike. A common name for streams and named after the orange colour of the ground it passes over. The orange is a natural pollution caused by the presence of Iron in the ground and is actual "rust". In some places it could be caused by the tipping of slagg from old mine workings. Such as in the Carr Brook near the Springwood pub, slagg from the Woodthorpe colliery. The Shire Brook had been a boundary for ages, before that OS map. In fact the OS map doesn't show the Derbyshire side of it. Intake and Gleadless were a part of Handsworth, which had it's own council, till the 1921 extension act. So the Shire was the boundary between Handsworth and Derbyshire till 1921, when it became the boundary between Sheffield and Derbyshire.

Another stream runs down from Intake to the Shire Brook running under Hollybank Road. I've not seen the name of that one. It seems to be another of the run off streams from Elm Tree Hill that I mentioned on the Jervis Lum thread.

The Shirtcliff Brook ran via Beaver Hill Wood and shows that a long time ago dams were built by Beavers to block it up!

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Anyone know what purpose the wall that runs down the far side of the weir would serve,

It resembles a bywash to me ?

attachicon.giflittle london_e.jpg

Looking at the aerial photo the water appears to be moving down the "bywash" in a series of small waterfalls.

Could it be a fish ladder to enable spawning fish to get upstream ?

Similar perhaps to the one that's just been built by the Meadowhall weir.


I posted a couple of photos of the River Sheaf at Duchess Road in post #13 of this topic,

what was not clearly visible in that photo is the same sort of by-wash on the Duchess Rd. weir, also seen on the Little London weir, as discussed above.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Adam Broadhead

Some "lost rivers of Sheffield" challenges for anyone that can shed some light or verify these in the Carter Knowle and Bannerdale areas of Sheffield.

1. Historic maps indicated a stream down Bannerdale Road to the Sheaf, with springs rising below Banner Cross Hall forming one headwater (modern OS maps mark a trickle through back gardens here), and a pond/small reservoir off Wyatt Avenue forming the other headwater. Both met off Bannerdale Road just at Needham Way. It continued downstream to the Sheaf, but now flows within the sewer along with wastewater, and apparently gets intercepted to the sewage works miles downstream at Meadowhall.

- Any info or local memories to verify or support or add to that?

2. Another apparently rises just below the A625 between Dunkeld Road and Carterknowle Road, following the curved land boundaries here. Historic maps and local authority drainage records chart a surface water stream now culverted following the property boundary lines downstream, with an actual spring between Springfield Avenue and Carterknowle Road, thence passing over the northern edge of the fields, behind Holt House School, where another historic spring joined it from behind present day Fossdale Road, and the culvert reaching the Sheaf via dog-leg along Abbeydale Road and Crummock Road.

- Any info or local memories to verify or support or add to that?

3. The stream under Hastings Road (to the east of Springfield Road), making its way to the Sheaf after crossing Abbeydale Road, as shown in council drainage records etc. I found no historic maps showing a watercourse per se, but they show a spring off Springfield Road by Helston Rise. Modern maps indicate "issues" (i.e. outflow of a piped stream or spring) in the wooded bit between the school and the part of Hastings Road to the west of Springfield Road. Historic maps suggest stream routes through this bit towards Grove Road from Dewar Avenue, with a spring off Kingsley Park Grove, and another possible stream segment between Springfield Road and Stowe Avenue.

- Any info or local memories to verify or support or add to that?

I have plenty more mystery streams seeking verification or further information all across Sheffield, such as those that once flowed down Upperthorpe, Netherthorpe, etc, serving the mental hospital and Barracks in the Victorian period.

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The stream path I have to the west beginning in the allotments at the apex of St Anthony Road and Bolehill Lane certainly is correct,

Being pedantic can I point out that Bolehill Lane actually finishes at the top of the footpath leading down over the site of St. Anthony's Well.

St. Anthony Road runs from this point up to the apex at the hair pin bend and then back on itself right down to Tinker Lane. The houses from the gennel onwards all have St. Anthony Road addresses and have had since the nineteen fifties.

Virtually all maps are incorrect in this respect including Google and Bing. The deeds to our old house near the apex show that Bole Hill Lane was originally planned to continue to the apex but St. Anthony Road would stop just short of joining it. In the event it was possible to join the two roads although the bend has a very steep and strange camber. When it was eventually joined up, the junction was moved back to the top of the gennel.


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