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24 September 2014
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Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

by Rory Dollard
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is a steel working site which has been used for iron forging for at least 500 years.

Facts

Prices: Adults £3.00, Children £1.50, Concessions £2.00, Family £6.00, School LEA £1.00, Other Schools £1.50, Special Needs Groups Free

Opening Times: Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Sunday 11am to 4:45pm

Getting there: By bus: No. 97 from Pinstone Street or High Street stops at the Hamlet entrance.

Facilities: Tea rooms and gift shop

Contact details: Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Museum, Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield
S7 2QW, T: 0114 236 7731, F: 0114 235 3196

Abbeydale is the one time site of a Sheffield crucible steelworks.

Where once the screech of machinery and the heat of the furnaces dominated the hamlet, nowadays Abbeydale serves a very different purpose.

Tilting hammer
Tilting hammer

It exists as a living history museum where the set up and attractions approximate the feel of a traditional steel works.

There is a dam, a working water wheel, a woodland habitat and a number of informative and insightful buildings each filled with the renovated remains of machines that were finally abandoned upon the site’s closure in 1933.

Not bad for a place which is only a short bus ride from Sheffield city centre.

Education Officer, Anne Marie Sandos
Education Officer, Anne Marie Sandos

The site now primarily serves an educational purpose for the region's children, and if the school party who were there at the same time as me were representative, then fun is encouraged equally alongside learning.

A great deal of work has been carried out here to ensure the stuffy image of museums and industry is well and truly an anachronism; with CD ROMs, an interactive gallery and a particularly innovative audio tour all available to visitors there is a strong sense of the contemporary.

Traction engine
Traction engine

Indeed, some of the workshops are currently in use by small businesses while others are available for rent; this is remarkable for a site that’s records date back to the 18th century.

Students of industry, or those with a casual interest need not be deterred though. While much of Abbeydale is obviously devoted to kids there are also a number of portfolios which detail both the processes and the people involved in steel making.

All of this, on top of the wonderful view provided by the dam and woodland, mean that it feels not only that one has been taken back in time but also to a different part of the world (it is hard to believe that the noise and bustle of the city is only 20 minutes away).

Man with scythes
Man with scythes

A trip to Abbeydale is certainly worthwhile. Not only is it culturally and environmentally important but it also provides a genuinely fascinating insight into the area’s past.

The museum is open to the public this year until Sunday 6 October 2002.

At other times, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is open to pre-booked groups.

last updated: 16/06/06
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