Visit to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

On a recent trip to the Peak District I visited Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

The hamlet was a place of metal working from 1697 until 1933, making scythes and other edge tools. Scythe blades from here were sent all over the world.

Much of the hamlet is presented as it would have been in the 18th century when water was used to power the machinery of manufacture, such as the huge tilt hammers that were used to forge the Crown Scythes.

A tilt hammer. The worker sat on the metal

A tilt hammer. The worker sat on the metal “swing” seat to the right of the picture whilst working

The scale model in the museum was loud enough, it is hard to imagine how deafening it must have been with several of the enormous hammers running at full tilt.

There were many scythe blades on display ranging from this tiny test piece…..

…to this enormous blade hanging in the counting house.

As well as the tilt hammers there is a crucible furnace where the steel ingredients were melted, a pot shop where the pottery crucibles were made, a grinding hull where grinding wheels were used to sharpen the blades, a blacking shop where the blades were finished and packed and a large lake that provided water to power the water wheels.

These days the hamlet is peaceful and quiet. It is amazing to imagine the heat and noise that would have existed when it was in full production. I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.