Kelham Island Museum

Kelham Island Museum

The Kelham Island Museum is an industrial museum on Alma Street, alongside the River Don, in the centre of The City of Sheffield, England. It was opened in 1982.

The site

The island on which it is located is man-made, resulting from the construction of a mill race, in the 12th. century, which diverted water from the River Don to power a corn mill belonging to the Lord of the Manor. It is reported that the island was subsequently named after the Town Armourer, Kelham Homer, who owned a grinding workshop on the neighbouring goit (mill race) in 1637. cite book |title=Kelham Island: A Visitor's Guide |year=1992 |publisher=Sheffield City Museums |location=Sheffield |isbn=0-86321-172 0 ]

Having remained meadowland for much of its existence, John Crowley's Iron Foundry was built on the site in 1829 and continued in operation until the 1890s. This building was replaced by a power station, in 1899, to provide electricity for the new fleet of trams in the city. These are the premises now occupied by the museum.

The Museum

The museum houses exhibitions on science and Sheffield industry, including examples of reconstructed little mesters' workshops and England's largest surviving Bessemer converter (Henry Bessemer's original converter is on display at the Science Museum (London)). The museum gives tours to local schools and has regular demonstrations of the 1905 River Don Engine, a 12,000 horsepower (9 MW) steam engine, which originally powered a local armour plate rolling mill. The engine is remarkable for its ability to change direction very quickly, a facet that was necessary for the efficient rolling of heavy steel. The engine rolled steel for nuclear reactors towards the end of its life (it was last used in production in 1974 at the River Don Works). The museum is operated by the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust. It is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage.

Also incorporated is an interactive science area — Scope.

The Museum has a vast photographic archive which is used by Authors for illustrating local history books.

The Kelham Island Museum is situated next to the well-known [ Fat Cat] public house, which is one of two public houses owned by the independent Kelham Island Brewery.


It is reported that the museum will be closed for a significant amount of time following the Sheffield flood of 2007 in June, which resulted in extensive damage to the museum and surrounding area in the Don valley.

ee also

* Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet - Former hand forge complex in listed buildings
* Shepherd Wheel

'Kelham Island' is also the name of an instrumental track by Sheffield's Richard Hawley, a B side to the single 'Coles Corner' released in 2005 on Mute Records.


External links

* [ Kelham Island Museum]

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