The Rivelin Trail is a collaboration between the Rivelin Valley Conservation Group and Ruskin in Sheffield. This trail aims to introduce users to the history, heritage, and nature of the valley. The trail also includes poetry written and performed in the valley and a description of the artist’s colony based at Rivelin Corn Mill and some of the art generated from the colony.
Throughout the 1920s a talented group of artists based themselves at the Rivelin Corn Mill. The inspiration for the artist’s colony was Robert Scott-Temple, a well established Scottish landscape painter in oils. Known as “the Professor”, he lived in a cottage at the Corn Mill. W R E Goodrich was a Sheffield artist best known for still-life and portraiture. He painted Robert Scott-Temple in 1921, but he also produced oil paintings of the valley, its natural setting and its cottages and mills. Ben Baines was an engineer by trade and a semi-professional watercolour painter, a native of Walkley and typical of the working men that philosopher John Ruskin had hoped to encourage into nature and the arts. Now that the Rivelin Valley Artists are starting to be recognised, other members’ paintings are beginning to appear. So far these include Charles Dyson, Vernon Edmunds and Charles Piggott. Together the paintings capture a unique record of the Rivelin valley, its industrial past and its natural beauty in the early 19th century.
From industry to nature
The Rivelin Valley nature and heritage trail can be enjoyed at any time of the year. If you look carefully you will find many types of plants, trees, birds and animals, as well as historical and archaeological remains of 20 watermills and 21 mill dams – these date from the 16th to the 19th century and played a key role in the cutlery and steel industry of Sheffield. The valley has slowly been reclaimed by nature since the mid-19th century as these rural industries declined and the watermills fell in to disrepair.
The paths mainly pass through woodland, with trees such as Alder, Ash, Beech, Holly and Oak. Spring flowers include Bluebell, Cow Parsley, Dog’s Mercury, Stitchwort and Wood Sorrel. Birds such as Blackbird, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Robin and Wren are regularly seen amongst the trees. Others such as Dipper, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and Mallard can be found along the river or at the water-filled mill dams. At dusk look out for bats patrolling the river or flying low over the mill dams.
Footpaths and access
The trail is not waymarked, but it can be started at either end and follows the river. Shorter circuits can also be enjoyed. Please explore, enjoy and relax in the valley – respect the environment and archaeology so others can also enjoy it. Take care in wet conditions as the paths can be muddy and slippery.
Bicycles* and horses are not permitted on the footpaths – alternative routes are shown on the map. Please note that the trail is not suitable for mobility scooters.
Explore the Rivelin Valley
The Rivelin Valley is located to the North West of Sheffield and stretches two and a half miles, linking Sheffield to the Peak District.
- Tram – Blue route to Malin Bridge
- Bus – 62/61 or 82/81 to Malin Bridge or Stannington
- Bus – 273, 274 or 275 take you to the far end of Rivelin Valley
To find out more about the individual sites, use the QR Codes and NFC tags located on a series of interpretation posts found along the valley. A book “Walking the Rivelin”, which describes the industrial heritage and natural history along the trail, is also available from this website, Rivelin café and other outlets.