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These images were taken at Shepherd Wheel, Sheffield. The only surviving water-powered grinding workshop in the Porter Valley. First recorded in 1566 it was used for grinding table, pen and pocket knives. Originally known as Porter Wheel it takes its current name from Edward Shepherd, the leaseholder from 1749 – 1794.
Conditions in the workshop were dark, damp and dangerous. Grinders would sit or stand astride the stone grinding wheels. Imperfections in the stones meant that occasionally while spinning at high speed wheels would shatter, with inevitable casualties.
Grinding at Shepherd Wheel ceased in the 1930’s.
Shepherd Wheel is open all year round and admission is free. For more information about Shepherd Wheel, location and opening times click HERE