The larger of the two Grogram waterwheels, in 1934. The original was damaged by the Sheffield flood of 1864. From Miller, 1936.

Introduction

Dating from the 1620s Grogram Wheel was amongst the earliest to be built in the valley. Trades associated with the Wheel include grinding cutlery, files, sickles, anvils & hammers and supplying air for the Mousehole Forge furnaces. It was in ruins by 1949.

The weir, a short, blocked head goit and the outfall from the tail goit into the river are all that remains at the Grogram site.

History (C. 1620s–1935)

Also known as: Groggerham Wheels, Saw Mill.

Main trades: Grinding cutlery, files, sickles, anvils & hammers; bean crushing; lathe; air supply for Mousehole Forge furnaces.

The Grogram Wheel and its much larger upstream neighbour, the Mousehole Forge, were purchased in 1842 by Henry Armitage from Lady Burgoyne for £2,100. Records show that in 1852, Grogram was grinding (finishing) anvils and hammers, and had a lathe, bean crusher and blowing apparatus. In the mid-19th century, the larger Grogram waterwheel was used to supply extra air for the furnaces at Mousehole Forge, the two sites being connected by large cast-iron pipes.

Artist’s impression of Grogram Wheel and mill dam (foreground) with Mousehole Forge behind, in the early 19th century. Courtesy J. Hatfield & R. Postman.
Artist’s impression of Grogram Wheel and mill dam (foreground) with Mousehole Forge behind, in the early 19th century. Courtesy J. Hatfield & R. Postman.

The Grogram Wheel and its much larger upstream neighbour, the Mousehole Forge, were purchased in 1842 by Henry Armitage from Lady Burgoyne for £2,100. Records show that in 1852, Grogram was grinding (finishing) anvils and hammers, and had a lathe, bean crusher and blowing apparatus. In the mid-19th century, the larger Grogram waterwheel was used to supply extra air for the furnaces at Mousehole Forge, the two sites being connected by large cast-iron pipes.

Grinders from Mousehole Forge and Grogram Wheel, possibly taken after winning gold at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851. From the KK collection.
Grinders from Mousehole Forge and Grogram Wheel, possibly taken after winning gold at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851. From the KK collection.

Being the closest to Malin Bridge, the Grogram waterwheels were the only ones in Rivelin to be damaged by the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864, when water backed-up on the Rivelin due to the flood water in the River Loxley at Malin Bridge. The claim for damage and stoppage, including wages for clearing up and repairs, amounted to £440 4s 4d (although only £170 was allowed).

The ‘Groggie’ ceased to operate around 1933 and the main building was demolished in 1935. The waterwheel was reported to be in ruins in 1949.

What's there now?

The weir, a short, blocked head goit and the outfall from the tail goit into the river are all that remains at the Grogram site. The wide weir is in fair condition. Its design is unusual – the southern section is curved and is a typical block-stone slope, but on the northern side the river cascades over a straight, vertical stone wall. Just upstream of the weir at the bottom of the wall to the right, two arches mark where the Mousehole Forge tail goits flow into the river.

The river bank and island beside the weir are coated in discarded molten metal, waste material from the nearby Mousehole Forge, which has solidified over the rocks.

There is now an electricity sub-station on the site of the mill dam.

The end of the tail goit from Grogram Wheel (marked by a wide concrete slab) is visible directly below the wall on the south side of the pedestrian crossing on Stannington Road.

Nature and wildlife at Grogram Wheel

Beside the Public Bridleway that leads past Grogram towards Mousehole Forge, can be found some of the most common trees in the valley: Alder, Ash, Crack Willow, Elder, Goat Willow and Sycamore. There is also a variety of common wild flowers such as Cow Parsley, Cleavers, Herb Bennett, Herb Robert and White Deadnettle.

There is a large Wych Elm on the river bank beside the weir, as well as Alder, Hawthorn and Sycamore. Look closely at the river bank and island here and you will see discarded molten metal (from the nearby Mousehole Forge) that has solidified over the rocks.

Location