Roscoe Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5PH

Roscoe Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5PH

Former water-powered grinding Wheel and water management system

Roscoe Wheel and associated water management system are the remains of a mill water-powered site that dates from 1725 and was used for cutlery, fender, file & saw grinding, polishing and as a blacking mill. It was in use until at least 1922, but reported derelict in 1936. Roscoe Wheel was unusual in the valley, having a breast-shot waterwheel and a two-storey building. Some traces of the building can still be seen, including the wheel pit arch and outfall from the pit into the tail goit, as well as traces of the cottages that were built into the hillside next to the Wheel.

The water management system extends to the north-east and south-west of the site of the former mill buildings, feeding from and into the adjacent river. The Roscoe weir is still in good condition and is particularly unusual: the long, dressed stone slope has three changes of gradient, and there are two top kerbs – the upper one is a double-arc, which is unique in Sheffield. Although now dry and wooded, the outline of the mill dam is still visible, including the remains of the dam wall. There is a short head goit. The tail goit is culverted underground for about 50 m and then runs along the base of the hill slope and into the river close to the remains of the weir for New Dam/Spooners Wheel.

Roscoe Wheel is located on the north side of the river, near Roscoe Bridge. It lies on the Rivelin Trail footpath about half way between the Rivelin Park Cafe and Glen Bridge (the ‘S-Bend’ on Rivelin Valley Road). There is open access to the site, which is owned by Sheffield City Council. The trail can be accessed from various points along Rivelin Valley Road, or from the north (Stannington) side of the valley (Roscoe Bank and Rivelin Park 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.

Roscoe 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 Roscoe 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).