Upper Cut Wheel. Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5SF
Upper Cut Wheel, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5SF
Former water-powered grinding Wheel and water management system
Upper Cut Wheel and associated water management system are the remains of a water-powered site that dates from around 1749. It was used for cutlery grinding until work ceased in about 1930. Between the wheel pit and the river can be seen the remains of the footings and walls of the mill buildings, partly obscured now under the path and steps up to Rivelin Valley Road.
The Upper Cut water management system extends to the north-east and south-west of the site of the former mill buildings. From the low stone weir, a stream flows along the head goit and along the northern retaining wall of the mill dam. The mill dam was very long and narrow and attracted many visitors who used to hire the rowing boats and enjoy rides on the swing boats located nearby. The outline of the dam is now mostly obscured by landslip. The water cascades into the remains of the wheel pit, and then under Rivelin Valley Road and directly into Nether Cut mill dam.
The site of the Upper Cut Wheel is located immediately upstream of Glen Bridge – the ‘S Bend’ on Rivelin Valley 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 and runs along the dam wall. The trail here can be accessed from various points along Rivelin Valley Road and from footpaths on the south side of the valley. A good view of the site can be seen by looking over the railings alongside Rivelin Valley 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.
Upper Cut 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 Upper Cut Wheel and other sites in the Rivelin valley can be found at https://rivelinvalley.org.uk/rivelin-trails-2/. 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).