Archaeology of the Mills of the Upper Don

Thursday, 2nd March 2023 - Saturday, 11th March 2023

Sheffield City Archives and field locations


The Heritage Fund is sponsoring CFA Archaeology and the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership as we find and record the forgotten mills of the Upper Don. The project has been divided into two parts: firstly, exploring the Sheffield City Archives (2nd or 3rd March) and secondly, going out to compare the information found within the archives to the surviving evidence and undertake an archaeological survey (9th, 10th and 11th March). The survey will record surviving mill buildings and their features. Volunteers are welcome to join both parts of the project for up to four days.

Follow this link to see the study, with additional links to historic maps and historic photographs. Copy & paste this URL into your browser:

Volunteers should only attend one archive day as both days will be identical. We will analyse historic drawings, photographs, architectural plans, and maps and discuss how the mills developed and what surviving evidence we might expect to find.

Each of the three days of fieldwork will be different as we walk around and explore the surviving evidence of thirteen sites along the River Don spanning from Oughtibridge, Wharncliffe Side, Stocksbridge, Forge Woods, Thurgoland, and finally end in Oxspring. Each site will be investigated for evidence of surviving mill buildings and affiliated features such as weirs, sluices, and mill races.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to create the archaeological records of the surviving features. CFA archaeologists will demonstrate and guide volunteers as we undertake a Level 1 historic building survey through photography, archaeological drawings, and written descriptions. Volunteers will take away the skills and tools of how to create archaeological records.

CFA archaeologists will share inclusive and accessible tools that volunteers can take with them in future exploration of history and heritage. No previous archaeology experience needed!

Everyone must get themselves to the meeting points. If possible, people are encouraged to carpool as parking will occasionally be limited. Volunteers attending the survey days should wear suitable outdoor gear and sturdy boots. We will be walking along various types of terrain from villages to woodland to shopping centres.

Please assure you only select a maximum of four tickets per person.