Spooner's Wheel, Rivelin, Sheffield
William John Stevenson
, 1835 - 1905
Material and Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Sight size: 490 x 585mm
Frame: 735 x 840 x 85mm
Department: Social History
Accession Number: K1956.8
Spooner’s Wheel was one of the earliest grinding wheels or ‘hulls’ to be built in the Rivelin Valley and dates back to at least 1637. By 1716 it was leased by William Spooner and his partner James Bromley, hence the name ‘Spooner’s Wheel’.
The grinder in this painting appears to be sharpening scythe blades as two are shown laid out in front of the grinding wheel. As you can see from this image, grinding workshops were dangerous places; breathing in the dust caused lung disease and the stone grinding wheels could explode, inflicting injury or death.
Weston Park Museum