Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tsavo

The Rivelin Tunnel

Recommended Posts

.....the Rivelin tunnel? Came across this picture in Picture Sheffield but have never heard of a tunnel. What did it carry? Presumably water, but where to. Any answers or suggestions would be welcome.

Edited by madannie77
broken link repaired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a tunnel that carries water from Ladybower to the works in Rivelin. If you go up to Redmires and walk along the leet that runs onto the moor, you'll see a stone tower next to the leet. This was a sighting tower for the surveyors and engineers driving the Rivelin tunnel.

On the subject of tunnels in Rivelin, there was a proposal around 1900 for a suburban railway for Sheffield. This would have run from a station in Fitzalan Square, down to St. Mary's, then up to Endcliffe, up the Porter Valley and then through a tunnel into Rivelin, down to Malin Bridge, along Holme Lane, to connect with the Manchester line at Wardsend, and back into the city centre. At the time the Council planned housing estates for the Porter and Rivelin Valleys and this line would have served both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bayleaf, presumably the water is pumped through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.....the Rivelin tunnel? Came across this picture in Picture Sheffield but have never heard of a tunnel. What did it carry? Presumably water, but where to. Any answers or suggestions would be welcome.

Now, of course I could have answered this question, with no effort at all, but, boy am I glad Bayleaf got the answer in first, because, quite frankly, I was utterly floored by this one

Edited by madannie77
broken link repaired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here wi go,

Thanks, Neddy. Have rotated the pic. Saves everyone getting a stiff neck. Well spotted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just started transcribing this one, History and description of the Sheffield Water Works,1924

very interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff, keep em coming! :) :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here wi go,

Fascinating stuff, but what are holding tanks please and are they still used <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating stuff, but what are holding tanks please and are they still used <_<

Well I know the Moonshine tank is still in use, and would presume the rest are, just a place to store the water ready for use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating stuff, but what are holding tanks please and are they still used <_<

So are the Ringinglow tanks. They're not at Ringinglow proper, but off Ringinglow Road, nearly opposite Wigley Farm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone tell me what the letter is at the start of the third line down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone tell me what the letter is at the start of the third line down.

Its an H,, the word is Haec meaning this or these (but I'm willing to take a second opinion on the translation!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its an H,, the word is Haec meaning this or these (but I'm willing to take a second opinion on the translation!)

That'll do for me thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more detail about the tunnel. It was dug to enable compensation water liabilities on the Rivelin to be met without draining water from Redmires, as previously happened. It was to be 4.5 miles long, with a fall towards Rivelin of 1 in 3,600, which means the Rivelin end is 6ft 7 in. lower. It is 6ft 6in high and 6ft wide, and emerges by the Wyming Brook Drive at the side of the lower dam. The tunnel was begun in 1903 and completed in 1909 at a cost of £135,151, which was £13,000 below the estimate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rivelin Tunnel

Sheffield's share of the Derwent water is taken from the joint aqueduct at Lady Bower, at a point about three miles south of the Derwent Reservoir, and conveyed by gravitation through a tunnel, which the Corporation constructed under Bamford Edge, dividing the valleys of the Derwent and the Rivelin, to the works of the Corporation in the Rivelin valley.

The length of the tunnel is 7,652 yards or 4 miles 612 yards, and the gradient is 1 in 3600.

It has a semi circular arch with vertical side walls and dished invert, the height being 6 feet 6 inches and the width 6 feet, and the lining is partly in cement concrete, and partly in brickwork, varying according to the nature of the strata.

It was driven through from each end without shafts, which is believed to be unique, having regard for its length. The system of ventilation adopted proved exceptionally efficient. The whole of the apparatus for driving, haulage, pumping, ventilation and lighting was worked by electrical plant, which greatly conduced to the efficiency of working and the health of the workmen.

The ground tunnelled through consisted of millstone grit and hard shale interspersed with bands of rock. with the exception of the Severn Tunnel, which is only 12 yards longer, it is the longest tunnel in England, and certainly the longest in Great Britain for Waterworks purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The nice thing about SH is you can ask virtualy any question and imformation pours from all sides. Thanks to all who contributed. Just one thing though, is it visible at either end? ......someone knows! Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The nice thing about SH is you can ask virtualy any question and imformation pours from all sides. Thanks to all who contributed. Just one thing though, is it visible at either end? ......someone knows! Thanks again.

Here I go again, replying to a really old thread!

There is an article on the Rivelin Tunnel in Industrial Railway Record Issue 197 (June 2009), which has the works yard photograph referred to earlier and also a picture of a works train emerging from the western end of the tiunnel. It is overhead electric and the catenary is about four feet above groound level!

Unfortunately the article is not available as a live link (unlike earlier Industrial Railway Society articles such as the one on Tinsley Viaduct).

Reference is made to an article by Jean Cass in The Transactions of the Hunter Archeological Society, Volume 18 page 60 (1995) entitled "The Rivelin Tunnel 1903-1910"

Mention is also made of "Reservoir Railways of Manchester and the Peak" by Harold D Bowtell (Oakwood Press 1977), which is probably more concerned with thebig reservoirs in the Peak District, but mentions the Rivelin Tunnel construction railway. This book is long out of print and seemingly as rare as hen's teeth in the second-hand book market.

Apparently the tunnel takes approx 2.5 million gallons of water a day and is still in use. It apparently cost £135,000 - not bad for a 4.5 mile long tunnel, and it was under budget!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here I go again, replying to a really old thread!

Any, and all, old threads we are happy to see re-ignited, especially if new/updated (i.e. old) information is contributed.

There are many fine old topics (with great detail) awaiting input from newer members with greater knowledge than us old-timers, it just needs people to root around to find 'em - or ask ...

Never be concerned about posting stuff, if it's been done before, so what; your input may just add to what has been posted and may, just, provide a great spark for further input/comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most Sheffielders are aware of the Totley Tunnel that carries the railway line out through the Hope Valley and onward to Manchester.

How many people however, know of the existence of an even longer (although rather smaller) tunnel situated some four and a half miles to the north?

This 4.5 mile long tunnel was built to carry Sheffield's share of the water from the Derwent Valley Impounding Scheme, a job that it still does today after almost a hundred years. The tunnel runs from a point just above the fisheries office at Ladybower where it receives a supply from the piped aquaduct fed from Howden and Derwent Dams. The outfall of the tunnel lies by the lower Rivelin Dam, close to the point where the Wyming Brook joins the dam. It can be found by leaving the A57 and driving along the embankment of the lower dam as far as vehicles are allowed, parking and walking past the vehicle barrier for a couple of hundred yards. The exit portal can be seen on the right hand side, guarded by ornate gates at the end of a grass covered underground tank which also receives the Wyming Brook. The tank discharges through a slot into the lower dam.

The tunnel was dug at around 8 feet diameter and lined with stone and brickwork to a finished size of around 6.5 feet high and 6 feet wide. It has a flat base and an arched roof and a total fall over it's length of around 6.5 feet. It was started around 1903 and finished in 1909. Because of difficulties in the dam construction it did not carry water until 1913.

During the construction enormous quantities of water were encountered and even today about 5% more water exits the tunnel than enters it.

To facilitate the alignment of the tunnel various siting pillars were built over the surface route of the tunnel and remains of some of them exist today. One in particular, puzzles people walking along the path by the catchwater that enters the top Redmires Dam by the north-east corner.

One thing that puzzles me, after a working life in various branches of electrical engineering, was that small electric locomotives were used with an overhead catenary supply system. Because of the length of the catenary and the very real problems of "volt-drop" the supply voltage must have been quite substantial; in my estimation at least a hundred volts D.C. and probably greater. With the limited height clearance and the quantities of water involved it must have been a potentially (pun intended) lethal situation. If anyone has any details of the actual system used I would be grateful for the information. Nowadays workmen working in confined and wet situations must use only very low voltage safety supplies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we had a discussion about this tunnel earlier this year, including a few pictures. I'll see if I can find it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about any duplication of the topic, I looked using the search function before I posted but couldn't find any referance to the tunnel.

Hilldweller

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about any duplication of the topic, I looked using the search function before I posted but couldn't find any referance to the tunnel.

Hilldweller

No problem, join the club! he he Good to see you posting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about any duplication of the topic, I looked using the search function before I posted but couldn't find any referance to the tunnel.

Hilldweller

Like Bayleaf says "join the club!" lol

Not directed at yourself hilldweller,

but for all our members ...

The 'search function' on the main page is rhubarb,

best off searching individual listings ie; SHEFFIELD HISTORY CHAT

Scroll to bottom of page 'Enter Keywords' and 'Search forum'

but doing that don't always come up with full results,

searching on here as in most other forums 'can be a Hit-Miss-situation'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×