Rivelin Valley Conservation Group and Ruskin In Sheffield LogoGrogram Wheel

Rivelin Valley Conservation Group

Introduction

Dating from the 1620s Grogram Wheel was amongst the earliest to be built in the valley. Trades associated with the Wheel include grinding cutlery, files, sickles, anvils & hammers and supplying air for the Mousehole Forge furnaces. It was in ruins by 1949.

The weir, a short, blocked head goit and the outfall from the tail goit into the river are all that remains at the Grogram site.

HISTORY (C. 1620s–1935)

Also known as: Groggerham Wheels, Saw Mill.

Main trades: Grinding cutlery, files, sickles, anvils & hammers; bean crushing; lathe; air supply for Mousehole Forge furnaces.

Dating from the 1620s (or perhaps before), Grogram Wheel was amongst the earliest to be built in the valley. The two workshops each had a waterwheel – these were located next to each other between the two buildings (Fig. 16). The larger of the two (Fig. 13), known affectionately as the ‘Groggie’ amongst the locals, was said to be the largest waterwheel in the valley and at one time ran 12 cutler’s trows; the smaller waterwheel ran six trows.

The Grogram Wheel and its much larger upstream neighbour, the Mousehole Forge, were purchased in 1842 by Henry Armitage from Lady Burgoyne for £2,100. Records show that in 1852, Grogram was grinding (finishing) anvils and hammers, and had a lathe, bean crusher and blowing apparatus. In the mid-19th century, the larger Grogram waterwheel was used to supply extra air for the furnaces at Mousehole Forge, the two sites being connected by large cast-iron pipes.

Image showing an artist’s impression of Grogram Wheel and mill dam (foreground) with Mousehole Forge behind, in the early 19th century.

Artist’s impression of Grogram Wheel and mill dam (foreground) with Mousehole Forge behind, in the early 19th century. Courtesy J. Hatfield & R. Postman.

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 claim for damage and stoppage, including wages for clearing up and repairs, amounted to £440 4s 4d (although only £170 was allowed).

The ‘Groggie’ ceased to operate around 1933 and the main building was demolished in 1935. The waterwheel was reported to be in ruins in 1949.

Image The larger of the two Grogram waterwheels, in 1934.

The larger of the two Grogram waterwheels, in 1934. The original was damaged by the Sheffield flood of 1864. From Miller, 1936.

Image of the grinders from Mousehole Forge and Grogram Wheel.

Grinders from Mousehole Forge and Grogram Wheel, possibly taken after winning gold at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851. From the KK collection.


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