Rivelin Valley Conservation Group and Ruskin In Sheffield LogoUpper Cut Wheel

Rivelin Valley Conservation Group

Introduction

Established by 1749, Upper Cut Wheel was used for cutlery grinding until the 1930s. In the early 20th century visitors could hire rowing boats and enjoy the swing boats located here.

The Upper Cut mill dam was very long and narrow, but the outline is now mostly obscured. A stream flows from the weir along the head goit and along the northern retaining wall of the mill dam. The water cascades into the remains of the wheel pit, and then under Rivelin Valley Road and into Nether Cut mill dam.

A good view of the site can be seen by looking over the railings alongside Rivelin Valley Road.

Upper Cut Wheel viewed from Rivelin Valley road.

Upper Cut Wheel viewed from Rivelin Valley road.

HISTORY (C. 1749–1930s)

Also known as: New Wheel, Upper Cutford Wheel.

Main trades: Cutlery grinding, rowing boat hire, swing boats.

There is some confusion in the records between the Upper Cut and Nether Cut Wheels, but the first record for Upper Cut appears to be in a lease of 1749. In 1794 the wheel pit had a 13 ft 8 in (c. 4 m) fall of water; there were eight trows and 13 men employed. In 1818 it was rented by Bradshaw & Co for £7 per annum. Like Nether Cut, the Wheel was involved in a rattening* case in 1874. Work ceased here around 1930.

The photograph below show the mill dam and building in the early 20th century. Around that time, rowing boats were available for hire and the many visitors could also enjoy rides on the swing boats located here.

Upper Cut Wheel in the early 20th Century.

Upper Cut Wheel in the early 20th Century.

Upper Cut Wheel with swing boats.

Upper Cut Wheel with swing boats.

*Rattening: a series of attacks on ‘blackleg’ establishments by a militant faction among the emerging Trade Unions: collectively known as ‘The Sheffield Outrages’. The attacks generally involved the removal of essential tools or items of equipment (often the driving bands of the grindstones) but in some cases escalated to arson and machine-breaking.


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