Third Coppice Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5SH

Third Coppice Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5SH

Former water-powered grinding Wheel and water management system

Third Coppice Wheel and associated water management system are the remains of a water-powered mill site built in the 1750s. This site was initially used for cutlery grinding and later converted to a paper mill. By 1905 the site was empty. In 1852 the property comprised one paper mill, two drying houses, a rope shed, a long rolling house, stables and cowshed, and a dwelling, along with several other buildings – it is hard to believe that there was once such an extensive complex of buildings here, as the site is now largely obscured by landslip.

The water management system extends to the north-east and south-west of the site of the former mill buildings. The wide Third Coppice weir is one of the most attractive features of the Rivelin Valley. It is a natural waterfall that has been raised by a single course of stone blocks stapled together. It can be crossed (with care) when water levels are sufficiently low. The mill dam still holds water, but is silted and partially overgrown.

The site of the Third Coppice Wheel lies to the south of Rivelin Valley Road, about 400 m downstream from Rails Road. 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. The trail can be accessed from various points along Rivelin Valley Road, and 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.

Third Coppice 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 Third Coppice 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).