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Detail of a water powered wheel with toothed flywheel in the background Detail of a water powered wheel with toothed flywheel in the background

One of the world’s first factories, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet was the largest water-powered works on the River Sheaf, manufacturing crucible steel and a wide range of agricultural tools.

During this busy morning, join the Historic Engineering team, who’ll share their in-depth knowledge of the site, and help them run and maintain the huge waterwheels still in operation today.

£250 per person

To ensure the best experience for you, these exclusive, hands-on sessions have a strictly limited capacity. This experience accommodates two people – if you're booking a single place, you'll be joined by another participant. 

9.30am-2pm, lunch and refreshments included.

About the day

You’ll arrive ready for a 9.30am start. Remember to wear warm clothes and sensible shoes as much of the morning will be spent either outside or in historic workshops with no heating!

We’ll begin with a basic introduction over a cup of tea before a walking tour of the site with our engineer. They’ll describe how the site operated, give you an insight into its unique history and show you what was made here before, focusing on the maintenance and operation of the site’s vitally important waterwheels.

There’ll be lots of opportunities to ask questions, share your knowledge and find out more about the life of this internationally important site.

Lunch will be served in our Joni Bistro at noon.


There’s no need to specify a date when you book, we’ll be in touch after the festive period to find a time that suits whoever’s going to be joining us. 

Many of the buildings on this historic site are only accessible via steep steps and uneven paths, but there is plenty of scope to tailor the experience as needed.

Please wear comfortable clothes and robust flat shoes that enable you to move around freely.

There’s no need to bring any special equipment – we’ll supply overalls and safety equipment as needed. If you have your own overalls feel free to bring them.

Yes, children over 11 are able to take part in this experience as long as they are accompanied by a parent or carer. Please note – the parent or carer would also need to purchase a gift experience ticket.

This experience accommodates a maximum of two people.  That said, there is a lot to see at the Hamlet and your friends and family are welcome to visit the site whilst you are engaged in the experience.

You’ll have the chance to choose from Joni’s Bistro menu, which has a range of delicious options. This experience includes a £15 lunch allowance for each participant.

For orders made by Thursday 15 December, we'll send you a printed voucher you can give to the recipient. You can still order right up until Thursday 22 Dec though - for orders after the 15th, we'll email you a digital version to print at home or pass on.

Book now

Buy this museum gift experience today in our online shop


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