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Shepherd Wheel

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust:

Shepherd Wheel is a water powered grinding workshop located in quiet and green surroundings on the River Porter. The site is the earliest industrial building on this stretch of water, with records going back to the sixteenth century. The grinding hull powered by a waterwheel could once house up to ten men grinding blades at the same time. The site is a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

from the SIMT web site.

Shepherd's Wheel

Shepherd Wheel. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

She was at Shepherd Wheel now, one of the old workshops that had been restored in wealthier, more optimistic times.

The mill wheel

There used to be regular working days here, when the water was released from the dam to power the wheel and the wheel turned the gears and belts that worked the grinding stones. But the cuts had put paid to that piece of heritage frivolity, and now the building was closed, locked and shuttered, the water wheel decaying.

She slowed again, and on an impulse, walked along the path past the workshop and up the steps, through the gate that led to the yard behind the mill.

The wheel lurked low down in a narrow pit. She could see the bucket boards that caught the water and turned it - empty now, but damp and mossy.

She leaned over the wall and peered down into the darkness that housed the wheel. The sluice that held back the water was above her, and below her was damp stone and moss. An opaque reflection gleamed back at her. She waved, and her reflection waved back. A smell of stagnant water drifted up.

She shivered. It had the darkness of a place that never got the sun.

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