Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
New Dam was the last mill dam to be built in the Rivelin Valley. It was built in the 1850s solely to provide supplementary water to Spooners Wheel (next downstream) and so had no water wheel or associated workshops.
In 1909 New Dam was turned into an open air swimming pool. This closed in the late 1930s. The pool was drained and has become colonised by trees, but a small stream still flows through.
The Rivelin Chair Sculpture sits on an island on what remains of the New Dam weir.
Main trades: Extra water supply for Spooners Wheel, swimming pool.
As its name implies, the New Dam was the last mill dam in Rivelin to be constructed (possibly the last in Sheffield). It is the only one in the valley without an adjacent waterwheel. It was built in the early 1850s to provide a supplementary water supply for Spooners Wheel due to a demand for more water. The existing Spooners head goit was widened and water fed into the Spooners mill dam by means of an underground tunnel through the high bank between the two dams.
The mill dam was fed via a weir and very short head goit at the western end.
In 1909 Sheffield Corporation turned the New Dam into an open air swimming pool– this was for men and boys only, although this rule was apparently widely ignored! However, being set so low down in the valley the water was always cold and only the most hardy could stand it for more than a couple of minutes. The pool had a swimming attendant and a woollen costume could be rented from him for a penny. The pool also had quite a lot of fish in it – if you caught one of these fish and placed it in a bucket at the side of the office you would receive your penny back. The pool closed in the late 1930s when the long wooden shed that was used as changing facilities was destroyed by fire.