The Rivelin (left) joins the Loxley (right) at Malin Bridge
|• location||Damflask Reservoir nr Stacey Bank|
|• elevation||600 feet (180 m)|
|River Don at Owlerton|
|190 feet (58 m)|
|Length||6.2 miles (10.0 km)|
|Basin size||16.8 square miles (44 km2)|
The River Loxley is a river in the City of Sheffield South Yorkshire, England. Its source is a series of streams which rise some 10 miles (16 km) to the north-west of Sheffield on Bradfield Moors, flowing through Bradfield Dale to converge at Low Bradfield. It flows easterly through Damflask Reservoir and is joined by Storrs Brook at Storrs, near Stannington, and the River Rivelin at Malin Bridge, before flowing into the River Don at Owlerton, in Hillsborough. The Loxley valley provided the initial course of the Great Sheffield Flood, which happened after the Dale Dyke Dam collapsed shortly before its completion in March 1864.
The upper river is marked by the presence of four large reservoirs, used for the impounding of drinking water. Drinking water for the people of Sheffield was provided by five small reservoirs on a site close to Langsett Road. Others were added as the population grew, but by 1830, they could not keep up with the demand. Sheffield Water Company became responsible for water supply after an Act of Parliament was passed in 1830, and their first major reservoir was completed in 1836, when Wyming Brook was dammed to form the Redmires Middle Reservoir.
Reservoir building continued as the population expanded further, and the Dale Dyke reservoir was nearly complete in 1864 when the dam failed, with catastrophic consequences for the communities below it. 250 people died in the flood, and many businesses were washed away or severely damaged. As a result of the compensation payments they had to make, the Sheffield Water Company obtained parliamentary powers to raise their water rates by 25 per cent. 54 acres (22 ha) and impounding 453 million gallons (2,059 Megalitres (Ml)) of water. Agden Reservoir was completed in the same year, which covered 62 acres (25 ha) and held 559 million gallons (2541 Ml). The replacement Dale Dyke reservoir was completed in 1875. It covered the same area at Agden reservoir, and held 466 million gallons (2,118 Ml).The company soon started other major projects, and Strines Reservoir was completed in 1869, covering
When powers to raise the extra levy on water rates ceased in 1887, the Sheffield Water Company applied to parliament to make the charge permanent, and to make further increases to its charges. The Corporation of Sheffield decided that water supply should be in public ownership, and submitted a bill to buy the Water Company by compulsory purchase. Both sides fought for their cause vigorously, but the committee of the House of Lords which heard the cases ruled in favour of the Corporation, who paid the Water Company £2,092,014 for all of their assets, and took over responsibility for water supply.
Under the new regime, Damflask Reservoir was completed in 1896. This was built as a compensation reservoir, rather than for drinking water, and was there to maintain a flow in the river, which protected the interests of those who abstracted water from the river, or used its flow to drive machinery. It covers 116 acres (47 ha) and holds 1,108 million gallons (5,037 Ml).
The river has played an important part in the industrial history of Sheffield, as it descends through 280 feet (85 m) in the 6 miles (9.7 km) between Low Bradfield and the Don, and this has enabled many mills, forges and cutlers wheels to be powered by its waters. A total of 24 are known to have existed at various times. Each mill, including outbuildings, stables and housing for the owner, was known locally as a wheel. A weir was constructed across the river, creating a pond known as a dam. A leat called a head goit fed water to a water wheel, and a tail goit returned the water to the river, below the weir. In some cases, multiple water wheels were fed from the same dam, and in others, a wheel might drive several ends, which were connected to grinding wheels, and might be leased to several tenants.
Low Bradfield Corn Mill is the earliest known installation, being recorded in documents from 1219, when it was transferred to Worksop Priory. It was destroyed by the flood in 1864, but was rebuilt, despite the fact that only £3,505 was received in compensation against the claim for £5,000. It was owned by Sheffield Corporation by 1905, and continued to use water power for some considerable time afterwards. It was destroyed by a fire during the Second World War.
There were medieval corn mills at Bradfield, Damflask and Owlerton, and cutlers wheels were in use at Wisewood in 1521, at Ashton Carr in 1549, and at Slack Wheel, near the confluence with the Don, in 1581. Development after 1720 was rapid, and a shift to heavier industry occurred from the early 19th century, with forges replacing cutlers wheels, or in some cases being built alongside them. Many of 24 known mills, wheels and forges were swept away or damaged in 1864 by the flood, but although steam power was gradually replacing water power elsewhere, most of those rebuilt continued to use water power, at least in part. Although the mill buildings have mostly gone, several of the weirs and dams remain, and there are still water wheels at Malin Bridge corn mill and Low Matlock rolling mill.
Low Matlock Wheel is first mentioned in 1732, when James Balguy leased some land to build a cutlers wheel. The size of the wheel and the number of grinding troughs were left to his discretion, and so were not mentioned in the deeds. By 1825, the site was described as having three works, the first containing two tilt hammers, the second, two forges, and the third, two more tilt hammers and a plating hammer. The site was extensively damaged by the 1864 flood, and the owners put in a claim for over £5,000 to repair the damage. The present buildings carry the date 1882, and the rolling mill is a grade II* listed structure. Water power continued to be used until 1956, after which much of the internal machinery was retained but adapted to allow electric power to drive it. Following the sale in 1999 of most of the site for development, the rolling mill was bought by Pro-Roll Ltd, who were using teams of four men to roll high-value bar by hand in 2006. An archaeological excavation of part of the site took place in 2001, prior to redevelopment.
The upper river valley is now the site of Damflask reservoir, built in the 1870s, but not completed until 1896, due to problems with leakage. It covered the sites of Dam Flask Corn Mill, which was probably part of the complex mentioned in 1219, and Dam Flask Wheel, which was variously a cutlers' wheel, a paper mill, and a scythe and sickle manufactory, between 1750 and 1861. By 1864 it was probably a wire mill, as four wire-drawers were drowned there in the flood.
The Environment Agency measure water quality of the river systems in England. Each is given an overall ecological status, which may be one of five levels: high, good, moderate, poor and bad. There are several components that are used to determine this, including biological status, which looks at the quantity and varieties of invertebrates, angiosperms and fish, and chemical status, which compares the concentrations of various chemicals against known safe concentrations. Chemical status is rated good or fail.
The water quality of the Loxley was as follows in 2015.
|Section||Ecological Status||Chemical Status||Overall Status||Length||Catchment|
|Loxley from Source to Strines Dyke||Moderate||Good||Moderate||3.97 miles (6.39 km)||4.82 square miles (12.5 km2)|
|Loxley from Strines Dyke to River Don||Moderate||Good||Moderate||8.66 miles (13.94 km)||10.44 square miles (27.0 km2)|
|Strines Dyke from Source to River Loxley||Moderate||Good||Moderate||4.74 miles (7.63 km)||7.62 square miles (19.7 km2)|
The Environment Agency are hoping to achieve good overall status by 2027. The river channel is heavily modified, and this contributes to its biological status. The reservoirs at the upper end trap sediments, and prevent the recharge of gravel beds further downstream. Additionally, there are no major tributaries on the upper and middle section, to provide alternative sources of sediment. The controlling of the flow by releases from Damflask Reservoir and some high flow or spill events have further removed finer gravels, leaving larger rocks and boulders, which are not ideal for fish propagation. The remaining weirs have a detrimental effect both on the movement of gravel and the migration of fish and other species. Some sections of the river have also been protected by hard banking, and near Hillsborough, by channelisation.
There is an ongoing project to improve the river for fish migration, with the focus on allowing salmon to return to the river to breed by 2020, but any work carried out will also benefit populations of brown trout, grayling, eels and lamprey. In 2012, most of the fish in the river were brown trout, with no established coarse fish.In order to achieve regeneration, an archaeological survey was carried out in 2012, examining the eight weirs from Stacey Wheel to Owlerton Wheels. The reason for the survey was that any modification to the weirs, which are historic structures, would require both planning consent and ancient monument consent. Modification would be necessary to provide fish passes at each of the sites.
Subsequently, the Don Catchment Rivers Trust commissioned the engineers Arup Group to assess how fish migration could be encouraged. They only considered the weirs from Old Wheel to Owlerton Wheel, as the weir at Stacey Wheel is very close to the reservoir dam, and would not increase the length of river accessible to fish by very much. The two weirs below Hillsborough, at Birley Wheel and Black Wheels, are the subject of a separate study being carried out by the Environment Agency.The Environment Agency also assessed the impact on the river of removing the weir at Limbrick Wheel entirely. Arup's report considered two options at each site, from complete removal of the weir, partial removal, provision of a technical fish pass, construction of a bypass channel, easement, and the installation of a low-cost baffle system. Removal of the weir was only considered at Limbrick Wheel, and was ruled out for Low Matlock Wheel, as that is a scheduled ancient monument, and for Olive Wheel, as there is a flow measurement gauging station immediately above it. Partial removal of the weir was not thought to be appropriate in any of the cases, and only the option of easement was considered for Loxley Old Wheel. Various easement options are available, including notches and gaps, baulks, baffle systems, preliminary weirs, and rock ramps, and at any one site, several of the options may be required. Easements are generally not subject to the same rigorous technical assessment as the other options, and the process of deciding what needs to be done is somewhat subjective.
In September 2014 Sheffield Council announced plans to create a flood alleviation programme in the Upper Don Catchment area, including the River Loxley.
|Point|| Coordinates |
(Links to map resources)
|OS Grid Ref||Notes|
|Strines Dike||SK200902||multiple springs|
|Foulstone Dike||SK197911||multiple springs|
|Hilling Dale Brook||SK220925||multiple springs|
|Strines Reservoir outlet||SK232903|
|Dale Dike Reservoir outlet||SK244915|
|Agden Reservoir outlet||SK258921|
|Damflask Reservoir outlet||SK282905|
|Junction with Storrs Brook||SK298895|
|Junction with River Rivelin||SK325893||Malinbridge|
|Junction with River Don||SK341894||mouth|
The River Don is a river in South Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It rises in the Pennines, west of Dunford Bridge, and flows for 70 miles (110 km) eastwards, through the Don Valley, via Penistone, Sheffield, Rotherham, Mexborough, Conisbrough, Doncaster and Stainforth. It originally joined the Trent, but was re-engineered by Cornelius Vermuyden as the Dutch River in the 1620s, and now joins the River Ouse at Goole. Don Valley is a UK parliamentary constituency near the Doncaster stretch of the river.
The River Sheaf in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, flows northwards, past Dore, through Abbeydale and north of Heeley. It then passes into a culvert, through which it flows under the centre of Sheffield before joining the River Don. This lower section of the River Sheaf, together with the River Don between the Blonk Street and Lady's Bridges, formed two sides of the boundary of Sheffield Castle.
Hillsborough is an electoral ward which includes the districts of Malin Bridge, Owlerton, Wadsley and Wisewood. It is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the northwestern part of the city and covers an area of 4.6 km2. The population of this ward in 2011 was 18,605 people in 8,012 households.
The Porter Brook is a river which flows through the City of Sheffield, England, descending over 1,000 feet (300 m) from its source on Burbage Moor to the west of the city to its mouth where it joins the River Sheaf in a culvert beneath Sheffield railway station. Like the other rivers in Sheffield, its steep gradient made it ideal for powering water mills and works associated with the metalworking and cutlery industries, and around 20 dams were constructed over the centuries to facilitate this. At its lower end, it is extensively culverted, but parts of it are gradually being restored to open channels, as part of a daylighting scheme for the city.
The River Dearne South Yorkshire, England flows roughly east for more than 30 kilometres (19 mi), from its source just inside West Yorkshire. It flows through Denby Dale, Clayton West, Darton, Barnsley, Darfield, Wath upon Dearne, Bolton on Dearne, Adwick upon Dearne and Mexborough to its confluence with the River Don at Denaby Main. Its main tributary is the River Dove, which joins it at Darfield. The river was one of those affected by the 2007 United Kingdom floods.
Low Bradfield is a village within the civil parish of Bradfield in South Yorkshire, England. It is situated within the boundary of the city of Sheffield in the upper part of the Loxley Valley, 6¼ miles west-northwest of the city centre and just inside the northeast boundary of the Peak District National Park. Low Bradfield and the surrounding area is noted for its attractive countryside which draws many visitors from the more urban parts of Sheffield. At weekends the village can become quite crowded, especially when there is a match on the village cricket pitch. Low Bradfield which stands in the shadow of Agden Reservoir has a sister village High Bradfield which is located at a higher altitude, ½ mile to the northeast. The two villages are joined by the steep Woodfall Lane.
The Great Sheffield Flood was a flood that devastated parts of Sheffield, England, on 11 March 1864, when the Dale Dyke Dam broke as its reservoir was being filled for the first time. At least 240 people died and more than 600 houses were damaged or destroyed by the flood. The immediate cause was a crack in the embankment, the cause of which was never determined. The dam's failure led to reforms in engineering practice, setting standards on specifics that needed to be met when constructing such large-scale structures. The dam was rebuilt in 1875.
The River Rivelin is a river in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.
Malin Bridge is a suburb of the city of Sheffield, England. It is located at grid referenceand stands 2½ miles north-west of the city centre where the rivers Loxley and Rivelin meet. Malin Bridge is only a small district centred on the road bridge over the River Loxley which carries the B6076 road to Stannington ; it is surrounded by the suburbs of Hillsborough, Wisewood, Walkley and Stannington.
Owlerton is a suburb of the city of Sheffield, it lies 2.2 miles (3.5 km) northwest of the city centre near the confluence of the River Don and River Loxley. Owlerton was formerly a small rural village with its origins in the Early Middle Ages; it became part of Sheffield in the early 1900s as the city expanded. Owlerton stands just east of the adjacent suburb of Hillsborough and the division between the two districts is difficult to delineate. The suburb falls within the Hillsborough ward of the city. This is further complicated by the fact that certain buildings such as Hillsborough Stadium, Hillsborough Leisure Centre and Hillsborough College lie firmly within Owlerton. The name Owlerton is believed to come from the abundant growth of alder trees in the area
Stannington ward is one of the 28 electoral wards in the City of Sheffield, England. It is located in the western part of the borough, including some westernmost suburbs of the city; most of the land is rural. The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 18,222.
Loxley is a village and a suburb of the city of Sheffield, England. It is a long linear community which stretches by the side of the River Loxley and along the B6077 for almost 2.5 miles (4 km). Loxley extends from its borders with the suburbs of Malin Bridge and Wisewood westward to the hamlet of Stacey Bank near Damflask Reservoir. The centre of the suburb is situated at the junction of Rodney Hill and Loxley Road where the old village green stands and this is located 3 miles (5 km) north west of Sheffield city centre. The suburb falls within the Stannington ward of the City of Sheffield.
Damflask Reservoir is situated at grid referencefive miles west of the centre of Sheffield in the Loxley valley close to the village of Low Bradfield and within the city's boundaries. The hamlet of Stacey Bank is located to the east. The reservoir has a capacity of 4,250.9 million litres and has a surface area of 47 hectares with a maximum depth of 27 metres (88 ft). The dam wall is approximately 400 metres (1,312 ft) wide with a height of 28 metres (92 ft).
The Old Hay Brook is a small river in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is formed from the Redcar Brook, Blacka Dike and another stream, which rise on moors to the south of Sheffield, and is joined by Needham's Dyke near Totley Grange. At Totley Rise it joins Totley Brook, to become the River Sheaf. Water from the river was used to power mills processing lead, corn and paper from at least the 17th century, which were later used for grinding scythes as the Sheffield metal industry expanded. All the mills were defunct by 1900, although some remnants including weirs and dams are still visible.
Dale Dike Reservoir or Dale Dyke Reservoir is a reservoir in the north-east Peak District, in the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, a mile (1.6 km) west of Bradfield and eight miles (13 km) from the centre of Sheffield, on the Dale Dike, a tributary of the River Loxley.
The River Drone is a river which flows south from its source on the Sheffield, South Yorkshire border. It flows through Dronfield, Unstone and Unstone Green in Derbyshire before merging at Sheepbridge to the north of Chesterfield with the Barlow Brook. It then flows south east till it merges with the River Rother at Brimington Road North (B6050) at Chesterfield. It is one of the three main tributaries of the Rother.
Strines Reservoir is a water storage reservoir situated at, 8 miles (13 km) west of the centre of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England.
Little Matlock Rolling Mill also known as Low Matlock Rolling Mill is a Grade II* Listed building situated on the River Loxley in the village of Loxley on the outskirts of the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The building continues to operate as a rolling mill, owned and operated by Pro-Roll Ltd, a specialist hand rolling company. A brick building extension was added to the original 1882 structure in 1939.
Storrs is a hamlet within the boundaries of the City of Sheffield in England, it is situated 6.5 km west-northwest of the city centre. Storrs is located between the suburb of Stannington and the village of Dungworth in the civil parish of Bradfield at a height of 210 metres above sea level between the Loxley and Rivelin valleys. Although historically a farming settlement, water-powered milling on the Storrs Brook and small scale cutlery making has also taken place in the hamlet.
Bradfield Dale is a rural valley 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west-northwest of the City of Sheffield in England. The valley stands within the north-eastern boundary of the Peak District National Park just west of the village of Low Bradfield. The dale is drained by the Strines Dike which becomes the Dale Dike lower down the valley, these being the headwaters of the River Loxley. The dale contains two reservoirs, Strines and Dale Dike, and a third Agden Reservoir stands in a side valley just above Low Bradfield. The dale is characterised by agricultural land interspersed with farming and residential buildings. It is approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long from its foot at Low Bradfield to its head on Strines Moor.
Media related to River Loxley at Wikimedia Commons