Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rivelin Dams, Rails, Rivelin Valley and Malin Bridge.

A walk along the Rivelin Valley; one of the locations where the Industrial Revolution began.

Today was just as much an industrial archaeological field-trip as it was a walk. There are the remains and ruins of maybe two dozen mills and forges along this relatively short wooded valley which starts on the edge of the Peak District and ends only about half a mile from the shops at Hillsborough. Several of the mills date back to as early as the sixteenth century, and some didn't stop operating until the mid twentieth century.

I got off the bus at the middle of the three Rivelin Dams and walked a few hundred yards back along the road to the footpath, leading uphill through woodland. The path continued for about a mile until I reached the hamlet of Rails where I took the road downhill to reach the car parking area at the head of the valley.

At this location there are toilets, picnic tables, an outdoor classroom for school visits; and the remains of the first of today's mills - complete with an illustrated information is the case at several other locations further down the valley.

It wasn't a very long walk today so I took my time, lingering at many of the old mills, weirs, sluices, stepping stones, dams, millraces and waterfalls; I tried to photograph some of the weirs which are really quite spectacular; but the shots were all out of focus. This photograph was my best effort:

Just over half way down the valley I arrived at the café where I had a meat and potato pie dinner; it was okay, but nothing special.

Less than an hour after finishing my meal I was in Hillsborough town centre, where it looked like martial law had been declared; there was a high profile football match being played; a police helicopter was hovering over the stadium and every takeaway establishment and pub had several police officers guarding it.

As I stood and waited for the tram, two trams passed which were not in service. I subsequently found out from the ticket inspector on the next one which actually stopped that the trams had been vandalised by football fans...and he had been given a black-eye by some thugs.