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LITTLE MATLOCK   -   LOXLEY VALLEY

Chapman's house - viewed down valley - towards Malin Bridge

Chapman's house - viewed across valley - towards Little Matlock

ABOVE: This row of houses stood at right-angles to the River Loxley, which runs just behind the camera (Malin Bridge lies about one mile to the left). On the hillside - seen just beyond the building - is the village of Little Matlock.

LEFT:A side view of the same building (looking down valley - towards Sheffield). The uninhabited end house had been totally washed away, while the second house had a giant hole punched through it: this was the home of the Chapman family, all of whom were drowned.

'At Little Matlock, there had been no warning. . . . Villagers were awakened by a deep toned roar and a strange swishing as the flood devoured life and property. Before they could do much more than shout in terrified disbelief, it was upon them. In this hamlet occurred the first of whole family tragedies. Daniel Chapman [aged thirty two], his wife Ellen [aged thirty], their two sons, aged six and three, as well as a seventeen year old domestic servant, Alathea Hague, and two apprentices, John Bower [see grave below] and George Clay, both seventeen, who had lodged with the family for three years, lived in the second of a row of houses which stood at right angles to the river [pictures above]. The uninhabited end house was sliced away and as the water, now filled with a ghastly array of debris, lunged forward, the Chapman home was inundated and all the occupants drowned.' (CDDD)


THE GRAVE OF FLOOD VICTIM JOHN BOWER
(Apprentice who lodged with the Chapman family - see story above)

In affectionate Remembrance

of

JOHN THE BELOVED SON OF
JOHN AND HANNAH BOWER

WHO WAS DROWNED IN THE BRADFIELD FLOOD

MARCH 12th 1864 AGED 17 YEARS.

ALSO THE ABOVE JOHN BOWER
WHO DIED MAY 17th 1876
AGED 73 YEARS.

ALSO THE ABOVE HANNAH BOWER
WHO DIED FEBRUARY 3rd 1873
AGED 64 YEARS.
 

John Bower's grave - Loxley Old Chapel


On the opposite side of the river to Chapman's house was their mill: 'the tilt and rolling mills of Messrs. Thomas and Daniel Chapman, and of Mrs. Denton, were completely destroyed; heavy masses of iron and machinery were torn from their places, broken into fragments, and scattered about in confusion.' (GFAS) .   .   .   .

Ruins of Denton's Mill (foreground) (Malin Bridge to the right)

The old houses beyond Denton's Mill remain today

REMAINS OF CHAPMAN'S AND DENTON'S MILL

(The river is just out of view - off the bottom of the photograph: Hillsborough is to the right.)

Old Photo: A few wheels and a side-wall emerging from the mud and rubble (seen in the foreground), were all that remained of Chapman's and Denton's Mill. The dwellings, beyond, remain today - as can be seen in the modern photograph.


THE   GREAT   FLOOD   AT   LOXLEY. JOSHUA WOODWARD,
OLIVE PAPER-MILLS
, begs to inform the Merchants and Manufacturers
of Sheffield that the Stock Rooms containing his Stock of OLD ROPE
PAPER
is not in the least damaged.


The view up-valley, showing remains of Wisewood Rolling Mill

Ruins of Wisewood Rolling Mill (from a different angle)

REMAINS OF THE WISEWOOD ROLLING MILL
(Wisewood Works)

These photographs were taken from about 500 yards up the Loxley valley (by the river) from Malin Bridge, and show the view 'up-valley'. The photograph on the left shows the view to the left of the river; the lane in the background being Myers Grove Lane - then making its way to Myers Grove House: today it passes the Pinegrove Country Club before reaching the entrance of Loxley College. The photograph on the right - showing the view to the right of the river, shows Loxley Road steadily climbing the valley. The wheels seen in the foreground were all that remained of the Wisewood Rolling Mill.

' . . . It could hardly be believed that such masses of metal and of rock could have been tossed about like play-things by the force of the water. Wisewood Works, also belonging to Mr. Horn, are or were a little lower down the stream, but they have been swept away completely, except that immense water, fly, and other wheels are to be seen in the ground half covered with the mud and the debris of the flood, looking as singular and out of place as the Sphinx partially submerged beneath the sands of Egypt. Near Wisewood Works, amid other large stones, is one which attracted much notice. It is of immense size, and is supposed to weigh about twenty tons.' (GFAS) 


MALIN BRIDGE

Trickett's Farm - viewed from Malin Bridge
Same view today - from Malin Bridge (Stanington Road)

 TRICKETT'S FARM - MALIN BRIDGE

The old view was taken from what is today the bottom of Stanington Road; and shows the view towards Stanington. The actual bridge (Malin Bridge) which had been located directly behind the photographer in this photograph, had been completely washed away by the flood. Stanington Road can be observed continuing up the hill behind the trees on the left. In the foreground (and to the left) is the giant hole where, a few days earlier, were the cellar and foundations of Trickett's house. Beyond this, is all that remained of their farm buildings. The modern picture was taken from a similar location (perhaps from a little further back - actually on the current 'Malin Bridge') and shows the same view. The large house, situated on the site of Trickett's farm, is currently home to the 'Forge Farm Dental Practice'; and the Petrol Station stands roughly on the site of Trickett's house.

The end wall of a barn can be seen on the left - this is shown more clearly in the photograph below.


THE VIEW FROM TRICKETT'S FARM - TOWARDS HILLSBOROUGH

View from Trickett's farm - towards Hillsborough

This view was taken from Trickett's farm - beside Malin Bridge. The crowd of people line the giant hole where had been the cellar and foundations of Trickett's house, directly beyond which is the bottom end of Stanington Road; and the actual 'bridge' (Malin Bridge) stood (a few days before this picture was taken) just off to the left of this scene. The site just beyond the remaining side-wall (on the right) is currently occupied by large house - shown in the modern photograph, above. The houses seen on the distant left stood on Holme Lane (just beyond the point where, today, Rivelin Valley Road joins it).

A FARMHOUSE SWEPT AWAY AND ITS TEN INMATES DROWNED

End-wall of barn at Trickett's Farm'The fate of Mr. James Trickett and his family, forms one of the most melancholy and striking incidents of this sad narrative. Mr. Trickett's house stood upon a promontory near the junction of the rivers Rivelin and Loxley. It was a substantially built residence and had extensive stables and outbuildings, all of stone. In front of it was a small lawn, and between it and the river Loxley were beautifully laid out gardens, containing fruit trees and ornamental shrubs. Mr. Trickett was a farmer of respectability and of some means, though not above working with his own hands at the operations of agricultural industry. He was well known in the neighbourhood, and was much esteemed for his various good qualities. His family consisted of himself, his wife, his daughter Jemima, aged nearly 13, his son James, aged 11, and his son George, aged 5. In most of the lists published, it is said that he had four children who perished in the flood; but this is a mistake. The fourth child died about two months before the catastrophe which removed the rest of the family. There were also in the house at the time of the flood, Mr. Thomas Kay, aged between seventy and eighty; Mr. Joseph Barker, aged 27; two men servants, and one maid servant. This made the number in the house ten, and not one of these escaped to tell the sad story of that awful night.

The old man Kay was the father of Mrs. Trickett, and up to the day of the flood he used to live in a house of his own at View Fold, on the other side of the hill. On the Wednesday in the same week, he buried his wife, and, having no one to live with him or keep his house, he gave up housekeeping on his own account on Friday, and went to live with his son in law, Mr. Trickett. On the very same night the flood came, and swept him away. It is melancholy to think that his domestic bereavement and change of residence should have been so immediately followed by the loss of his own life.

The case of young Mr. Barker is equally extraordinary. He was the son of Mr. Barker, of Arbourthorne, Sheffield, and was in partnership with Mr. Johnson, at the Limerick Wheel, which is situated near Malin Bridge. Mr. Barker was a young gentleman of respectability and of very good business position and prospects. In order to be near the works he was obliged to take lodgings in the neighbourhood, and for two or three months before the flood he had been one of the inmates of Mr. Trickett's farmhouse, where he possessed comforts and conveniences equal to anything that could be obtained in the immediate locality. On the afternoon before the flood he had been to Sheffield to see his parents, and also to obtain a considerable sum of money to pay the wages of the men at the works on the next day. It was the last night he intended to remain at Mr. Trickett's house. In consequence of the old man Kay going to live at his son in law's, young Barker could no longer be accommodated, and he had made arrangements to remove the very next day to Mrs. Bower's, at Malin Bridge, where he used to lodge before he went to Farmer Trickett's. On the Saturday he was to have left Mr. Trickett's, but on the Friday night the flood came, and carried the house and all its inmates away without a moment's warning.

The manner in which the Tricketts met their fate can only be matter of conjecture. Their habits were regular, and they generally retired to rest for the night at about half past ten. It may be that the flood came upon them while they were all sleeping; but it is more probable that they were aroused by the noise of its approach, and that they got up in haste to see what was the cause of the uproar. We have ascertained beyond doubt that the neighbours saw lights in the chamber window just before the house was swept away, and it was not the practice of the Tricketts to keep lights burning all night. If the inmates of the house were all awake and alive to their danger the scene must have been most harrowing. The consternation which would seize upon them may be imagined as they saw the flood coming nearer and nearer, like an avalanche of snow, till it entered the house, rose up to the chamber floors, and continued to rise, while the inmates sought refuge by standing on beds or tables, and shrieked aloud for that help which none was able to afford. They would naturally suppose that the house was the place of greatest safety, and that its strong stone walls could never be destroyed by the force of the inundation. Besides, escape by running out of doors was impossible, for the waters surrounded the house to a considerable height. For a few moments the house withstands the power of the flood; but now it totters, the foundations are giving way, it is lifted up for an instant on the crest of the waves, and seems to swim down the stream; but in another moment it falls to pieces, its stones are swept down by the flood, its inmates are all engulfed beneath the waters, and swept along after they have ceased to be conscious of the appalling fate by which they have been overtaken. A neighbour named Mrs. Corbett, who lives about fifty yards from where Trickett's house stood, said that she got up when the flood was coming, and saw it approach, like a mountain of snow; she heard the shrieks of the drowning, and saw the lights in Trickett's windows. For a moment the house seemed to be swimming upon the flood, and the lights were still visible; but a second burst of water came, and the house immediately sank, the lights went out, and all was silence, except the roar of the flood as it passed down the valley on its work of destruction and death.

The scene presented next morning was one of extraordinary ruin and desolation. The farmhouse was gone to its very foundations, a large hole in the earth only marking the position of the cellar. The stable was also demolished, except a portion of one wall, which stood out in rugged dilapidation, and attracted great attention from its picturesque appearance, as well as from the melancholy incidents of which it constituted the memorial. . . .' (GFAS)

'Elizabeth Trickett's body was found the next day at Rotherham, about eight miles from her home, while that of James Trickett, junior, was not recovered until three weeks later. . . .' (CDDD)

'A large number of the bodies were never identified, the reason being that in many cases entire families were drowned, so there was no one surviving who could recognise the features of corpses which were recovered. Miss Trickett was found, as was also the servant girl, the former having on one stocking and a petticoat, the latter both stockings. From this it is inferred that at least some of the family had begun to dress when the flood came; but even if this were so it is evident that they had time to put on only a very small portion of their clothing.' (GFAS)


TRICKETT'S GRAVE - IN HIGH BRADFIELD CHURCHYARD

In Affectionate Remembrance of

JAMES TRICKETT. AGED 39 YEARS.
ALSO
ELIZABETH. HIS WIFE AGED 36 YEARS
ALSO
JEMIMA. THEIR DAUGHTER
AGED 12 YEARS.

ALSO JAMES. THEIR SON AGED 10 YEARS NOT FOUND

ALSO GEORGE. THEIR SON AGED 6 YEARS

WHO PERISHED IN THE GREAT FLOOD AT MALIN BRIDGE
CAUSED BY THE BURSTING OF THE BRADFIELD RESERVOIR.

MARCH 12th 1864

WHOE'ER MAY BE BLAMED FOR THE RECENT DISTRESS
OUR DUTY TO GOD IT MAKES NONE THE LESS:
WHATE'ER BE THE FAULT THIS. THIS IS MOST TRUE
THE FLOOD IS A WARNING TO ME AND TO YOU.

ALSO WILLIAM TRICKETT. FATHER OF
THE ABOVE DIED JUNE 11th 1863 AGED 71 YEARS

The Trickett family grave - in High Bradfield churchyard


FOUND, on the 17th of March, a LEATHER PURSE, with an Elastic
Band round. The Owner may have the same by giving Particulars of
its Contents. - Apply to Edwin Shaw, Malin Bridge.


Copyright © 2001 Michael Armitage

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