Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
Hollins Bridge Mill dates from around 1724, and was mainly used for grinding cutlery, fenders and optical glass, although it was converted to a corn mill in the 19th century. The mill survived into the 20th century, but had become little used by 1936.
In the early 20th century, the course of the river was changed so that it flowed directly through the former mill dam and a new, wide weir was built across the river at the downstream end to maintain the head of water to power the waterwheel. This weir, located just upstream of Hollins Bridge, is one of the longest in the valley.
Paddling pools were built on the south side of the river in the 1950s when the whole area was landscaped as part of the Festival of Britain. In 2013, the paddling pools were fully refurbished by Sheffield City Council and reopened as ‘Rivelin Valley Water Play’.
Also known as: Chadburn Wheel, Hollins Bridge Corn Mill, Rivelin Bridge Wheel.
Main trades: Grinding cutlery, fenders and optical glass; corn mill.
Hollins Bridge Mill was erected around 1724, and had six grinding trows. In 1794 Hague & Parkin employed nine men here. 20 years later, in 1814, the number of trows had increased to one fender trow, seven cutlers’ trows and an unknown number of glass trows, the latter being used by Chadburns for the grinding of optical glass lenses for use in glasses and telescopes. In 1860, the Wheel was sold to Sheffield Waterworks Company; by 1868 it had been converted to a corn mill and in about 1909 was being run by John Wilson, the owner of the Malin Bridge Corn Mill. It was noted in 1936 as being “little used”.
The course of the river originally ran through what is now the Rivelin Water Play area, being separated from the mill dam by a narrow embankment. A weir across the river, approximately in the location of the current bridge by the toilet block, deflected water into the head goit and thence into the mill dam.
In the early 20th century, around the time the ‘New Road’ was built along the valley, the course of the river was altered so that it flowed directly through the former mill dam. The head of water needed to turn the waterwheel was preserved by a new weir, which is one of the longest weirs in the valley. The width of the river at this point meant that raising the water level could increase considerably the amount of water available – the water level could be raised further by inserting wooden boards into metal cleats on the top of the weir. There were further changes in this area when the paddling pools were built in 1951.