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The Sheffield Flood


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A complete history of the great flood at Sheffield on March 11 & 12, 1864,

By Samuel Harrison,

160 pages.

PDF download: size 12.1 MB

Link to Google Books

Well done everyone - what an interesting and informative topic - which I am ashamed to say I never knew much about until I read this item from the start to the last entry.

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I'm looking for Flood markers and any indication as to what height the waters were at any point along the whole route, can anyone help please.

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At the Mill of Marchington and Makin (somewhere near Barrack ?? anyone got a more precise location please ?)

a boy called Cappeer climbed a beam and watched the water rise to 15 feet.

Nearby the body of a man was found between branches 15 feet up a bark-stripped tree.

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Sheffield Mercury

13th march 1864

The flood hit the barracks which it smashed, killing two children.
Wardsend Mill was next and also flooded was the Silver rolling mill
of Mr Peace, and the works of Messrs Marchington and Makin.
Here a massive weir and William Simpson clinging onto a boiler,
were swept away, later William Simpson was drowned.

Farfield Inn, two rows of houses which were greatly damaged.

Which seems to indicate that Marchington & Makin were somewhere after The Barracks but before The Farfield Inn

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Just below Messrs. Marchington and Makin's premises, and near the Farfield Inn, are two rows of houses, which were flooded and greatly damaged.

Source - Mick Armitage

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Just below Messrs. Marchington and Makin's premises, and near the Farfield Inn, are two rows of houses, which were flooded and greatly damaged.

Source - Mick Armitage

Think I have his book, somewhere ........

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A certain W D Allen, tongue in cheek, suggested that the waterworks company might care to finance the painting of tide-marks of some houses to show future generations how high the flood had risen and "how large a supply of water they delivered to the town in less than an hour".

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There are some excellent engravings of the aftermath of the Sheffield Flood in several issues of the Illustrated London News available here:


The Illustrated News seems to have had an artist on the scene very quickly. The relevant page numbers are:

285 - the village of Bradfield

288 - the gap in the embankment

293 - searching for dead in a cellar at Neepsend

296 - Hillsborough after the flood / drowned cattle at High-bank

297 - Malin Bridge after the flood / Broadhead Wheel workmen searching for their tools

300 - the broken dam

304 - plan of the Loxley Valley

321 - remains of a wire mill near Malin Bridge / remains of Ball street bridge

325 - searching for dead at Mailin Bridge / scene in a garden at Hillsborough

328 - view form the Langsett Road

329 - conveying the dead to the receiving house at Malin Bridge / burial of the unclaimed dead

A couple of examples to illustrate the quality: The View From Langsett Road:

and Searching for Dead at Malin Bridge:

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The 150th Anniverasry of the Great Sheffield Flood is being commemorated by a series of events from 3rd - 12th March 2014. See this information from Bradfield Parish Council. This will also give descendants of Flood victims (like me descended from John King) opportunity to meet up. Karen Lightowler KARENL823@aol.com is coordinating these contacts.



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If its going to happen then this should appear in listings soon.

I understand Dan Snow was in Sheffield recently and there's some connection with a planned programme about the flood.

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I think a proper documentary is well overdue so I hope it happens.

Dan Snow is "man of the moment" for this kind of thing.

I noticed the strategy ages ago when Peter did the Battlefield series, ably assisted by son Dan. Then they co presented, and subsequently now that his reputation is established, Dan is off on his own.

Nowt wrong with a bit of nepotism.

Perhaps he'll let his dad do a couple of bits lol

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One to ponder on - "Blackmansick Lane" 1/2 a mile from Owlerton ... never heard of it.

Mentioned in a Karen Lightowler document regarding contaminated water in Owlerton after the flood.

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Polite request for help.

Looking for any/all references to places and water depths, especially those further away from the known centre line of the flood. Oh, and any mentions "up the valley", again looking for reported depths and specific locations.

Trying to work on "a something" with "a someone" the more data points we have the better our attempt at the aforementioned something will be.

Thanks in advance.

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Information from the Sheffield Independent 14th – 20th March. Many references to “ great depth” and “several feet” – these have been mostly ignored, but most of the rest are not precise. Some entries will need further clarification as only a Works name or owner is given. Maybe the Flood Claims database might show the lateral extent of the flood – ie where do the claims finish.

Neepsend lane houses flooded “chamber deep”

Joseph Peace and Co, Merchant Works, next to Neepsend Bridge 5 feet deep

Hoole and Co, Green Lane Works, 4 feet

Workhouse 4 feet

Union Wheel Yard “ a great depth”

The Crofts and Millsands 6 or 8 feet

Bridge Street “not much less than 6 or 8 feet”

Attercliffe Road just after Saville Street junction “about 1 foot

W.K. and C. Peace steel and file works Eagle Works 5 feet

Messrs Charles 4 feet

Messrs Birks tea-rooms, Wicker 3 feet deep, though building higher than older property surrounding

Jessops Works (both sides of river) 4 feet in yard, 2 feet in workshops

Hillsborough, row of brick houses next to George Bisby’s pub, 1 st house occupied by Dyson family, last house by the Atkinsons – 16 to 18 foot above the roadway

Midland Station 4 feet

All the houses in Nursery Street 5 to 6 feet

Nursery Corn Mill yard over 6 feet

Loxley – Dentons Wheel and Tilt between the cliffs – 40 feet

Messrs Marchington and Makin 15 feet inside the workshops

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