Plonk Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5SD

Plonk Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5SD

Former water-powered grinding Wheel and water management system

Plonk Wheel and associated water management system are the remains of a water-powered mill site built in around 1737. It was used for cutlery grinding and possibly as a saw mill. It was listed as ruined by 1852, and for some reason the mill was never rebuilt or used again.

The water management system extended to the east and west of the site of the former mill buildings. The former mill dam is situated on the bank above the trail footpath and is completely overgrown, although with a stream running through from the hillside above. Nothing remains of the mill building or tail goit, but parts of the head goit (which was fed directly from the Swallow Wheel tail goit) can still be seen in places as a channel between the path and the hill slope above.

Now it is easy to miss the site of Plonk Wheel, which is located from about 30 m upstream of the Hind Wheel weir, on the south side of Rivelin Valley Road, near to the ‘S-bend’ (Glen 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, between the mill dam and the river. The trail can be accessed from various points along Rivelin Valley Road and from surrounding footpaths.

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.

Plonk Wheel 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 Plonk 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).