Abbydale Industrial Hamlet provides Sheffield a glimpse at its 18th century past

National Mills Weekend kicked off in Sheffield on Saturday, at the old eighteenth century Abbydale Industrial Hamlet.

The grade 1 listed building was the main producer of scythes and hay knives between the 18th and 19th century, and with its Waterwheels, crucible steel furnaces and workshops it is one of the largest water powered industrial complexes on the River Sheaf.

Before the advent of the steam engine, wind and watermills provided the only source of power for many different processes such as making paper, cloth, flour. It also allowed for hammering metals and extracting oils.

The National Mills Weekend, which celebrated the countries milling heritage, allowed the public to visit many mills across the UK which are not usually open for viewing.

At the Abbydale Industrial Hamlet, families were able to enjoy a mix of entertainment and learn a number of traditional craft skills.

They were also able to look at the row of Workers Cottages which were built between 1786 and 1793, which gave them a peak into how workers and their families used to live during that era.

This is all down to the £1 million in Heritage Lottery Funding they were awarded back in April 2013, which allowed for the restoration of the water wheels on the site.

Heading into the summer the site is hosting a ‘Summer Festival’ which is full of yet more family entertainment.

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