Walkley Bank Tilt, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield. S6 5FY.
Walkley Bank Tilt , Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5FY
Former water-powered mill and water management system
[The mill dam is currently known as Havelock Dam]
Walkley Bank Tilt and associated water management system are the remains of a water-powered site that dates from 1751. It was one of the last in the valley to close, in the early 1950s, and thus one of the few in the valley to have been working within living memory, although by then powered by electricity. It was first used for cutlery grinding, but subsequently converted to a tilt forge and then wire-drawing mill.
The water management system extends to the north-west and south-west of the site of the former mill buildings, feeding from and into the adjacent river. The weir is in good condition and there is a modern shuttle gate on the head goit inlet. Most of the buildings stood between the mill dam and the Mousehole weir, but few traces of the once-thriving mill now remain. The outfall from the short tail goit is close to the Mousehole weir, the exit from the forge building marked by a bricked-up stone arch halfway between the mill dam and the weir.
The Walkley Bank Tilt site is located upstream of the Rivelin fire station (on Rivelin Valley Road) at the Havelock Dam car park. It is owned by Sheffield City Council and there is open access – there is a small car park adjacent to the mill dam, one of five dams in the valley where open water is maintained, and a public footpath (the Rivelin Nature Trail) runs along the dam wall. The Trail can be accessed from various points along Rivelin Valley Road, or from the north (Stannington) side of the valley. Walkley Bank Tilt remains a focal point for the valley and is a regular starting point for walks along the river. The mill dam (now known as Havelock Dam) is also popular for fishing and feeding the ducks.
A marker post installed at the site by Rivelin Valley Conservation Group gives a brief history and links to a website where further information and pictures can be found.
Walkley Bank Tilt is one of the 20 water-powered mills built in the Rivelin Valley (search for ‘Rivelin Waterpower Sites’ on this website for more details). This sequence of Rivelin mills and mill dams forms an essential part of Sheffield’s heritage. They also have a broader national and even international significance in relation to the history of the Industrial Revolution in Sheffield.
Further information and pictures of Walkley Bank Tilt and other sites in the Rivelin valley can be found at https://rivelinvalley.org.uk/rivelin-trails-2/. See also the books ‘Walking the Rivelin’, by Sue Shaw and Keith Kendall (6th edition, 2019, Rivelin Valley Conservation Group) and ‘Water Power on the Sheffield Rivers’, by C. Ball, D. Crossley, N. Flavell (Editors), (2nd Edition (2006), South Yorkshire Industrial Society).