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“Excellent Museum”

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Ranked #22 of 174 things to do in Sheffield
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Visitors discover the method of producing steel and how workers and their families lived their lives in Abbeydale, a small village that has been involved in metal-working for centuries.
Reviewed 25 November 2013

this museum is in the South of Sheffield, quite far out of the city, well worth a visit, it used to be a manufacturer of scythes and blades for farming or gardening I think, you can see workers cottages as well as workshops, waterwheel and furnace, it's very interesting to visit, it's supposed to be haunted as well so rumour has it but I don't know, haunted or not, it's a great place to visit

Thank Marie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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106 - 110 of 149 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2013

This is a gem of a museum that gives a real feel for the way steel was made and used in the past. Ok so it doesn't have the smoke, heat and filth that would have been there when it was working but you can apply a bit of imagination. For children its mainly things to look at, not to pick up an play with, but lots of little buildings round a courtyard, so doorways to peer through and explore. Lots of steps though, and uneven floors/ground. There's restoration work going on at present, after which I gather some of the machinery may be working again for special occasions. In the past I've been round on one of Mr Tyzack's tours and it was definitely worth joining it. The day we were here this time there was a wool-spinning demonstration you could join in and some teenagers seemed enthralled by it, so worth checking the website for events before you plan. Best bit for me was chatting to the smith making metalwork in one of the workshops. But also mustn't forget the nice little cafe and shop.

Thank AgedStudent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

Situated on Abbeydale Road South past Millhouses Park, this glimpse of early industrial Sheffield is well worth a visit. I found the combination of water wheel and tilt hammer conceptually fascinating, as well as linking scythe manufacture to the city. And it is free!
Well worth taking the time to find it out and spending an hour or so walking around. It is not big, but is largely outdoors and has a few sets of stairs to explore fully.

1  Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2013

I didn't know a lot about the hamlet before I went but it has been on my to do list with my daughter. However I don't think I learned very much from my visit. There were signs with audio tour but when we arrived were weren't offered one so maybe we missed out there. Otherwise what we saw was ok but it didn't all come together into a meaningful experience. I appreciate it is great that it is free but even so it was disappointing. I think that the special days they have may have brought it to life but as we attended on a normal day didn't get any of that. We were in and out in under an hour.

Thank Helen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2013

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is a place that I heard about when I first visited Sheffield, over 30 years ago, but I have never visited until now. Other than being an important part of Sheffield’s metalworking history, I knew very little about it before I arrived on the 97/98 Mainline bus, which drops you right outside the entrance.

My first impression was that, here, there is an exceptionally well preserved set of historic buildings – with its fixtures and fittings - that, I have since learned, command Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grade I and Grade II* Listed status.

Going in, the Jessop Tilt Hammer made a great impression and the toilet block, car park and outside “pub style” tables suggested that it would be frequented by tourists.

Perhaps I just arrived on an “off day” because, although quite a large Primary School group seemed to be having a thoroughly good time with the “costumed” on site staff that were laid on for them, it didn’t seem very well prepared to receive older visitors.

Working as an English language teacher and field trip leader, I have been on the lookout for some new places to show to intelligent Spanish teenagers – which will break away from the destinations that I have shown to previous summer schools.

Having taken some of these to Kelham Island Museum last summer, which had been put out of action by Sheffield’s floods a few years earlier, I had expected to see a well laid out plan of this impressive range of buildings, in which the contents were well presented and which gave a good impression of what I was looking at, even though I might not have any specific interest in the local metalworking industry.

Instead, in places, I got a seemingly random pile of junk that was just spread out everywhere - like a set of rotting and rusting tools that might be found anywhere in the cellar of a long since forgotten old house, in the manner of Miss Havisham’s.

There are loads of nooks and crannies to explore, with lots of going upstairs and downstairs but, when you got to the end of them, there is nothing to explain what you are finding there. However, I did note numbers on the walls that were presumably “stopping places” for visitors who can use audio equipment that may be available but I wasn’t offered this facility or any other information when I arrived.

For me, there were all sorts of interesting pieces of stone, ceramics, metal, wood and other miscellaneous materials just lying around that I wanted to know more about, as well as the machinery itself, which is nothing like I have seen before.

In view of the changes and cutbacks that have affected Sheffield City Council in recent years, I can see how financial resources might be considered best used elsewhere but, somehow, I think that someone high up in Sheffield council is missing a trick here with this magnificent resource.

2  Thank ScottEngering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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