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The Rivelin Tunnel

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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. During the construction enormous quantities of water were encountered and even today about 5% more water exits the tunnel than enters it. .
After the tunnel had been completed Mr Mappin Wilson of Sheffield, who had shot the moor under which the tunnel passed, sued the Water Board for compensation because, he said,"his grouse had less to drink, due to water filtering down into the tunnel from the moor above". His claim was for £5,000 and £3,600 for loss of water. A surveyor from Huddersfield was brought in and he put the total loss at £4,000. The Sheffield engineer to the Water Board said that as there had been no surface disturbance the draining away of water suggestion was ludicrous and he put nominal damages at £100. As no agreement could be reached, the case went before Colonel Welland at the Surveyors Institute, Westminster, and the final award reached was for £1,500. Wilsons gamekeeper a Mr Dolman, later said that the tunnel was the best thing that ever happened, because the moor became drier and better for grouse and breeding purposes, W/E. { Moorland Heritage by James S Byford}

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A most interesting read - Thank you.

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Was the loss of water the reason for covering the moor with numbered drinking troughs carved into rocks, as on Stanage?

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After the tunnel had been completed Mr Mappin Wilson of Sheffield, who had shot the moor under which the tunnel passed, sued the Water Board for compensation because, he said,"his grouse had less to drink, due to water filtering down into the tunnel from the moor above". His claim was for £5,000 and £3,600 for loss of water. A surveyor from Huddersfield was brought in and he put the total loss at £4,000. The Sheffield engineer to the Water Board said that as there had been no surface disturbance the draining away of water suggestion was ludicrous and he put nominal damages at £100. As no agreement could be reached, the case went before Colonel Welland at the Surveyors Institute, Westminster, and the final award reached was for £1,500. Wilsons gamekeeper a Mr Dolman, later said that the tunnel was the best thing that ever happened, because the moor became drier and better for grouse and breeding purposes, W/E. { Moorland Heritage by James S Byford}

When you consider that 500,000 gallons a day more flows out of the tunnel than is allowed in at the other end, you can see that he had a point.
I understood He was called Mr. Wilson Mappin, and bought the Moscar Moor for £24,000 in 1895. He also bought White Path Moss Moor for £9,000 in 1897.
The adjacent Stanage Moors and part of Hallam Moors were bought by a Mr. William Wilson in 1897. There are a series of boundary marker stones along the boundary between their lands, marked WW on one side and WM on the other.
Starting in 1907, Mr. William Wilson paid his gamekeeper George Broomhead to carve a series of 108 small water troughs into suitable flat-topped boulders with runners to collect rain or dew for the grouse to drink. Each trough was numbered and the gamekeeper was apparently paid seven shillings and threepence-halfpenny for each one carved.
All this information is in David Hey's book on Historic Hallamshire.
HD

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When you consider that 500,000 gallons a day more flows out of the tunnel than is allowed in at the other end, you can see that he had a point.

I understood He was called Mr. Wilson Mappin, and bought the Moscar Moor for £24,000 in 1895. He also bought White Path Moss Moor for £9,000 in 1997.

The adjacent Stanage Moors and part of Hallam Moors were bought by a Mr. William Wilson in 1997. There are a series of boundary marker stones along the boundary between their lands, marked WW on one side and WM on the other.

Starting in 1907, Mr. William Wilson paid his gamekeeper George Broomhead to carve a series of 108 small water troughs into suitable flat-topped boulders with runners to collect rain or dew for the grouse to drink. Each trough was numbered and the gamekeeper was apparently paid seven shillings and threepence-halfpenny for each one carved.

All this information is in David Hey's book on Historic Hallamshire.

HD

I always understood it was Mappin Wilson, of the snuff family. Thomas Kingford Wilson built Fulwood House, now part of the Hospital Board offices. The family had the shooting on Stanage and Moscar Moors .He became Chairman of Tenants Brewery, and is remembered as a keen game shot, perhaps the finest shot in the Sheffield area. By 1935 he personally was able to claim a total bag for the previous 50 years of 150,000 birds, shot on the 2 moors. His keenness for shooting was such that he paid great attention to the wind direction, and he had a complicated apparatus on the roof of Fulwood House that transferred information to one of the rooms below for his convenience.

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I always understood it was Mappin Wilson, of the snuff family. Thomas Kingford Wilson built Fulwood House, now part of the Hospital Board offices. The family had the shooting on Stanage and Moscar Moors .He became Chairman of Tenants Brewery, and is remembered as a keen game shot, perhaps the finest shot in the Sheffield area. By 1935 he personally was able to claim a total bag for the previous 50 years of 150,000 birds, shot on the 2 moors. His keenness for shooting was such that he paid great attention to the wind direction, and he had a complicated apparatus on the roof of Fulwood House that transferred information to one of the rooms below for his convenience.

I think a bit more research is called for on this topic.

The boundary stones are marked WW on one side and WM on the other side not MW.

Perhaps Mappin Wilson was related to William Wilson.

It's not like David Hey to make a mistake in print.

Postscript I've had a look on a few family history sites and the Mappin & Wilson families seem to have intermarried over the years. Perhaps Mr. Mappin Wilson had another first name and chose not to use it.

HD

Edited by hilldweller

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I think a bit more research is called for on this topic.

The boundary stones are marked WW on one side and WM on the other side not MW.

Perhaps Mappin Wilson was related to William Wilson.

It's not like David Hey to make a mistake in print.

Postscript I've had a look on a few family history sites and the Mappin & Wilson families seem to have intermarried over the years. Perhaps Mr. Mappin Wilson had another first name and chose not to use it.

HD

You may be right HD, It's remarkable how flexible these families used to be with their names, changing them to inherit etc. Either way I'm starting to get images of gun-toting landowners facing off over boundary markers!

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You may be right HD, It's remarkable how flexible these families used to be with their names, changing them to inherit etc. Either way I'm starting to get images of gun-toting landowners facing off over boundary markers!

But at least they would be sporting wonderfully engraved Purdeys and not sawn-offs !

HD

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You may be right HD, It's remarkable how flexible these families used to be with their names, changing them to inherit etc. Either way I'm starting to get images of gun-toting landowners facing off over boundary markers!

There was also a Mr Rimington Wilson who kept Broomhead Hall in Ewden Valley. The Hall was the centre from which shooting parties shot the Broomhead grouse moors. The moor itself was well keepered and was famous for its grouse, at one time it held the record for the number of grouse bagged in one day. In 1909 , the magazine "Bystander" published a photograph with the caption "The Raid on the Red Grouse Tribe", showing the then Prince of Wales, later King George V, the Marquis of Ripon, and Mr Rimington Wilson, the owner of the moors, on which 2731 grouse were shot in the day. Later Broomhead Hall stood empty for many years and reporting its demolition the Sheffield Star quotes Mr Rimington Wilson as saying that he hopes to build a smaller house on the site as the family are concentrating on sheep farming. No date of demolishion is given but it does mention that R.R.W.was chiselled in the stone boundary marks of the moors. W/E. [Moorland Heritage] James S Byford.

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I was up on Stanage Edge with the scouts the other week, and we found the remains of the sighting tower. Took a pic but for some reason the system wont let me upload it to this post?

Does the annual Four Inns walk in Derbyshire still take place? Due to the tragedy of 1964 it was moved to later on in the year, hopefully to avoid the worst of the bad weather. W/E.

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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.

Dynamos were driven by engines & 440/ 500 volts DC was used....

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Dynamos were driven by engines & 440/ 500 volts DC was used....

Whoops, I bet that stung a bit when you brushed against it.

Looking at the photo in Bayleaf's post number 29 it appears that the catenary wire was located about 6 inches above the worker's heads when they were sat in the waggon.

The photo shows a twin catenary system and so the DC supply was probably "floating" e.g. isolated from earth in order to limit the current in any connection to earth.

In practice "floating" power supplies will usually pass an earth fault current due to leakage from one pole or the other.

Even at that time it would have been possible to provide earth leakage protection, but in the circumstances, with vast quantities of mineral charged water pouring over the support insulators, this would be useless due to constant tripping.

Looking at the size of the loco, and the more than two mile trip in from either end, voltages of this order would be necessary to limit volt-drop.

I'd like to bet there were a few curses and even some burns although apparently no electrocutions (as opposed to shocks).

HD

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Whoops, I bet that stung a bit when you brushed against it.

Looking at the photo in Bayleaf's post number 29 it appears that the catenary wire was located about 6 inches above the worker's heads when they were sat in the waggon.

The photo shows a twin catenary system and so the DC supply was probably "floating" e.g. isolated from earth in order to limit the current in any connection to earth.

In practice "floating" power supplies will usually pass an earth fault current due to leakage from one pole or the other.

Even at that time it would have been possible to provide earth leakage protection, but in the circumstances, with vast quantities of mineral charged water pouring over the support insulators, this would be useless due to constant tripping.

Looking at the size of the loco, and the more than two mile trip in from either end, voltages of this order would be necessary to limit volt-drop.

I'd like to bet there were a few curses and even some burns although apparently no electrocutions (as opposed to shocks).

HD

LIVEly i dare say......

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