Today Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, officially re-opened Shepherd Wheel following a three year restoration project.
Shepherd Wheel is an ancient water-powered knife grinding mill located in the Porter Valley in south-west Sheffield, believed to date back at least 500 years. It is a unique example of the early metal working industry, for which Sheffield became world famous.
The conservation project was led by the Friends of Porter Valley and restored the mill pond, buildings and machinery. The project was funded from a number of sources, including a £500,000 grant awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Nick Clegg said:
“Shepherd Wheel is a vital part of Sheffield’s industrial heritage. Therefore I’m delighted to officially re-open the Wheel so that Sheffielders can see and enjoy this important bit of Sheffield history being brought back to life.”
Ann Le Sage, Chair of the Friends of the Porter Valley said:
“The Friends of the Porter Valley are grateful to everyone who contributed to this restoration – our partners Sheffield City Council who own the mill, the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust which has the technical expertise to operate it, and all the many groups and individuals who donated freely to enable this project to succeed.
The people of Sheffield now have a fully working mill to visit in a lovely green valley. They will be able see how our early knife making industry worked before the heyday of the Industrial Revolution, when all we had was waterpower to drive the machinery.
Shepherd Wheel is now open at weekends for free with a SIMT engineer and our volunteers on hand to explain its story. School visits are already being booked into weekday openings.”