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Upper Porter Valley in Sheffield - source related study.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History Around Us By Philip Jacobs Introduction On Tuesday 10th June 2003 and Wednesday 18th June 2003 I visited the upper Porter Valley in Sheffield. The purpose of these visits was to give me an understanding and provide evidence to aid me in answering the following questions. a) Would your visit to Shepherd Wheel give you enough evidence to support what is said in Sources A, B and C? b) Consider all the sites you have visited to help you answer the following question b) i) How useful are the various sites in the Upper Porter Valley for learning about water powered sites and the cutlery industry before 1850? b) ii) Is there sufficient evidence in the valley to provide a good understanding of Porter Valley's water powered sites and cutlery making industry? a) Would your visit to Shepherd Wheel give you enough evidence to support what is said in Sources A, B and C? Source A - The heyday of the water mill in Sheffield was in the late 1700s when the streams were often so crowded that the tail goit of one mill fed the dam of the next. The Forge and the Wheel - J G Timmins Source A says that "the heyday of the water mill in Sheffield was in the late 1700s". At Shepherd Wheel there is little evidence to support this claim. Though a small, modern plaque outside the workshop says that a Mr. ...read more.

Middle

Although the information may be reliable it does not give us a very accurate picture of what mills were like in the whole of Sheffield. This is because Shepherd Wheel is one of 136 mills in Sheffield. So we cannot presume that every mill in Sheffield was the same as Shepherd Wheel. For example some mills may have had more evidence of an extractor fan or grindstone accidents. b) Consider all the sites you have visited to help you answer the following question "A visit to the Upper Porter Valley is a useful way to learn about water power and the cutlery industry in the early nineteenth century" b) i) How useful are the various sites in the Upper Porter Valley for learning about water-powered sites and the cutlery industry before 1850? The five sites that we visited from the bottom toward the top of the valley were: - * Ibbotson Wheel * Shepherd Wheel * Leather Wheel * Wire Mill * Old Forge (Forge Dam) Some of the above sites were more useful than others for learning about waterpower and the cutlery industry. Some of the sites give us very little information due to lack of maintenance and erosion. At Ibbotson Wheel we can see a weir, which can be seen in figure 7, a sluice gate, head goit, dam, overflow and tail goit. We cannot see any evidence of the cutlery industry and there are no buildings in which grinding could take place. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of this though is insufficient evidence to support the understanding of water powered sites in the Upper Porter Valley. There is also insufficient evidence to support a good understanding of the cutlery industry in the Upper Porter Valley. Again perhaps if we had visited more than 5 sites in the Upper Porter Valley we may have gathered a better understanding of the cutlery industry. Shepherd Wheel is the only site that gives us sufficient evidence of the cutlery industry. This is because it is a restored museum. At Shepherd Wheel we can see millstones, blades and knives. This is shown in figure 12. Figure 12 - Inside the main hull at Shepherd Wheel We also saw evidence of glazing in the smaller hull at Shepherd Wheel. The problem was that the site was not actually working and we only saw evidence of grinding and glazing and not evidence of other stages of making a blade. The other 4 sites that I visited insufficient evidence. At Ibbotson Wheel and Leather Wheel there was insufficient evidence although the name Leather Wheel could suggest that glazing took place using a leather wheel. At Wire Mill there are Boulsover Cottages. Thomas Boulsover invented Sheffield Plate which links into cutlery. At Forge Dam there are buildings that could have been used for the cutlery industry, again we cannot be sure of this. Overall I think that there is a reasonable amount of evidence regarding waterpower. For cutlery there is clearly insufficient evidence and to get a clearer understanding of the cutlery industry more sites would have to be visited on not just the River Porter but the whole of Sheffield. ...read more.

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