Sheffield Flood      Claims Archive

Mapping the Claims


One of the most difficult parts of the project has been attempting to provide map locations for the Claims. The main problem is that there are no street maps from the year of the Flood, 1864, or the time of the claims (1865). The maps nearest to the date are:

287 288

OS County Series: these are Ordnance Survey maps, 1:10560 (6 inches to 1 mile), published around 1853-1855. The main map is Sheet 294, which has the Sheffield Flood Route from Sheffield Midland Station to the outermost reach (in a direction away from Sheffield centre) at Loxley Old Wheel (53°24′N, 1°33′W). Two other sheets cover the rest of the territory up to Dale Dike Reservoir, Sheet 288, which shows Dam Flask, Stacey Wheel and Storr’s Bridge, and Sheet 287, which shows Dale Dike Reservoir. The scale of these allow for identification of major roads and landmarks, and some lesser streets.

11 12 13  
    20 21

OS Town Plans: In addition, OS also did some town maps – 36 in all – at a scale 1:1056 (5 feet to 1 mile), and all streets can be identified on these maps. However, their outermost reach in covering the Sheffield Flood route (in a direction away from the centre) is a little above Hillfoot Bridge, the northernmost street being Brough Street (just before where the Loxley flows into the Don), so these maps don’t have Malin Bridge, for instance. The maps involved in Flood route are Sheet 11, Sheet 12 (Neepsend Station, Neepsend), Sheet 13 (Mowbray Works); Sheet 20 (Sheffield Forge Mills, Sheffield Flour Mills, Castlegate Bridge St), Sheet 21; Sheet 26.

There is an 1868 map of Sheffield, based on the OS 1850 map, but also claiming that it ‘comprises all subsequent improvements’, i.e., up to and including 1864. Its outermost reach (away from the centre) is Owlerton and Malin Bridge. Detail is limited to main street names.

View from the Inputters (Jamie Mitchell; Shelley Roche)

We tried to map each claim at the precise location(s) of the loss stated. For instance, if the claim listed only household items it was mapped at the claimant’s address. If the claim was for loss of wages it was mapped at the claimant’s place of work. For those claiming a loss at multiple locations, such as the owner of several cottages or several workshops, the claim was mapped at each separate location. In claims for loss of life (Register 9a), we mapped the claims at the address of the deceased party rather than the claimant. The same applies to injury claims (Register 9b) where the injured party’s address differs from that of the claimant.

The only claims we were able to map at their exact locations were works, pubs, or institutions that were marked on the map. Addresses with a street number, such as 71 Harvest Lane, are largely estimated, except when an exact reference is provided in the claim, or where we have been able to cross reference with another document (eg. Samuel Harrison’s account, White’s Trade Directory of 1864, the Post Office Directory of 1865) to pinpoint the location. Since most streets in Sheffield are numbered starting from the end nearest the city centre with the odd numbers on the left, we chose this system.

Where no street number is given in the claim, we were often able to find the street number in another source or make an educated guess as to the approximate location; for instance a skinner might have lived near a tannery, or a shopkeeper near other shops. Sometimes there were no clues available, in which case the claim was mapped at a random location in the street.

Claims with only an area stated in the address field (eg. Owlerton) we have placed centrally in that area, unless we have obtained more precise details or clues. For instance, a paper maker in Owlerton might be placed near the Owlerton Paper Mill.

If the address was too vague, eg. ‘Sheffield’, and we could find no clues as to where the claimant lived or worked, we were forced to leave the claim unmapped.

Many claims had both a pre-flood and post-flood address, but if only one address was mentioned we had to assume this was the address where the loss was sustained.

In a number of cases the address supplied refers to an area outside the ‘flood route’, which was probably the post-flood address. If we could not find any other information we have placed the claim at this address, providing it was not too far out of the way. We thought this might give an indication as to the general area in which the person lived before the flood.

We encountered additional problems in that the claims are mapped on Ordnance Survey maps dated 1849-1852, at least 12 years before the Flood. Since certain streets (eg. Mowbray Street) and entire areas (eg. around Harvest Lane) did not yet exist, we had to guess not only where on the streets to place the claims but where the streets themselves were. Nearly 200 claims, mainly in Newhall and Brightside, were located outside the range of the Ordnance Survey maps, so we were unable to map them.


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