Ecclesall Woods

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Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Ecclesall Woods is an area of woodland in south-west Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, between Abbeydale Road South and Ecclesall. It covers approximately 350 acres (1.4 km2) of mature semi-natural deciduous woodland which was previously used for timber and charcoal, and is currently managed by the city council for the benefit of wildlife and visitor access. There are two roads and over 15 km of public footpaths running through the woods. The Abbeydale miniature railway is located within the woods.

They are a Local Nature Reserve.[1][2]

Notable features[edit]

There are two mills sited within the woods, and a number of other items of archaeological interest.

Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Ryecroft Mill[edit]

Ryecroft Mill[3] was a water-powered lead smelting mill on the Limb Brook. The mill dates from at least as far back as the 17th century and was used for lead smelting, and later grinding corn.[4]

Ecclesall Woods Sawmill[edit]

There is a modern sawmill within the woods, which was built after extensive storm damage to trees in 1962. It is operated by a private company, but there are plans to use it as both a working sawmill and an information centre.[5]

Ryecroft Bridge[edit]

The stone bridge over the Ryecroft Brook is a Grade II listed building.[4]

Q pits[edit]

There are a hundred charcoal hearths and two hundred Q pits, believed to have been used for manufacture of white coal.[4]

Charcoal burner's grave[edit]

There is a grave site, commemorating the death of one George Yardley who was burned to death in his cabin in 1786.[4] The grave is a grade II listed building.

Prehistoric carved stone[edit]

Cup-and-ring marked rock

A cup and ring-marked stone was discovered in 1981, and has been dated to the late Neolithic or Bronze Age periods. It, and an area around it of 2 m diameter, is a scheduled ancient monument.[4][6]


  1. ^ "Ecclesall Woods". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
  2. ^ "Map of Ecclesall Woods". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
  3. ^ "Ryecroft Mill". Tilt Hammer. 20 April 2003. Archived from the original on 21 November 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2006.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Archaeology of Ecclesall Woods" (PDF). Heritage Woods Online. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2006.
  5. ^ "Natural History and Management of Ecclesall Woods" (PDF). Heritage Woods Online. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2017.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Cup and ring marked rock 740m east of Park Head House, Sheffield - 1018265 (1018265)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 December 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′N 1°31′W / 53.34°N 1.51°W / 53.34; -1.51