Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
The ‘Round Dam’ at Hind Wheel is built in what seems to be a natural meander in the river, and is one of the most popular in the Rivelin valley. There are now few traces of the former buildings but in addition to the mill dam, which is full of water, the weir, head goit and tail goit can still be seen.
Hind Wheel is the earliest recorded site on the Rivelin, dating from around 1580. It was used for grinding cutlery and making metal inserts for ladies corsets. In the early 19th century the mill dam almost doubled in size to the round shape it is today. The site was last used in the 1930s.
Also known as: Hyne Wheel, Iron Wheel. [The Round Dam.]
Main trades: Cutlery grinding; metal inserts for ladies corsets.
The Hind Wheel is the first to be recorded within the valley, in a rental of 1581. It was occupied by Thomas Hine, Robert Webster & John Swynden, paying a rent of £1 per year. In 1772 there were six trows, but by 1794 there were ten trows (powered by a 15 ft (c. 4.57 m) fall of water) and 12 men employed.
In the early 19th century, the site was occupied by Joseph Greaves & John Tillotson, who often fell out over the use of water. It soon became obvious that the dam was too small, so in the 1820s the workshops were rebuilt and the mill dam almost doubled in size to the ‘round’ shape that it still is today.
In 1830 two waterwheels were noted: the southern, 11 ft 6 in diameter x 5 ft wide (c. 3.5 x 1.52 m), run by Greaves; the northern, 12 ft x 5 ft 6 in (c. 3.65 x 1.67 m), run by Tillotson. Each waterwheel ran eight grinding trows.
One of the waterwheels was still working in the 1920s. Steel strip for ladies corsets was being made here before the site was abandoned in the 1930s. In the early 1950s, the waterwheels were still in place but all of the surrounding buildings had collapsed (see photos below). The ruins of the buildings were removed and the area landscaped.