Grogram Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5FL

Grogram Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5FL

Former water-powered grinding Wheel and water management system

Grogram Wheel and associated water management system are the remains of a water-powered mill site dating from the 1620s (or perhaps before). There were two workshops each with a waterwheel – the larger of the two, known as ‘The Groggie’, was said to be the largest waterwheel in the valley. Trades include grinding cutlery, files, sickles, anvils. Unusually, it was also used to provide an air supply for the nearby Mousehole Forge anvil furnaces, through large cast-iron pipes that connected the two sites. ‘The Groggie’ ceased to operate around 1933 and the main building was demolished in 1935. The site of the former mill buildings is now covered in trees.

The Grogram water management system extends to the north and south of the site of the former mill buildings, feeding from and into the adjacent river. The outline of the mill dam can still be seen, including the dam wall, but it was infilled and an electricity sub-station built there. The design of the weir is unusual – the southern section is curved and is a typical block-stone slope, but on the northern side the river cascades over a straight, vertical stone wall. The tail-goit outfall is still visible.

Grogram Wheel is the last site downstream on the Rivelin, with the outfall being close to the confluence of the Rivelin and Loxley rivers. Being the closest to Malin Bridge, the Grogram waterwheels were the only ones in Rivelin to be damaged by the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864, when water backed-up on the Rivelin due to the flood water in the River Loxley at Malin Bridge.

The site is owned by Sheffield City Council and there is open access – a public footpath (the Rivelin nature and heritage trail) passes the site and gives access to the river bank beside the weir. The Trail can be accessed from various points along Rivelin Valley Road, or from the north (Stannington Road).

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.

Grogram Wheel was amongst the earliest of the 20 mills built in the Rivelin Valley (search for ‘Rivelin Waterpower Sites’ on this website for details of the other sites). 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 Grogram Wheel and other sites in the Rivelin valley can be found at 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).