Around midnight on 11 March 1864 the wall of Dale Dyke dam collapsed, sending a torrent of water down the Loxley valley, through Malin Bridge and Hillsborough. The water travelled along the Don through to Wicker and on towards Rotherham. Many homes and business were destroyed and the water killed at least 240 people. It was the worst civilian disaster of the time and became known as the Great Sheffield Flood.
This photograph shows the village of Malin Bridge, which experienced the full force of the flood, despite it having travelled four or five miles by that point. Within a distance of only a few hundred yards more than twenty houses were destroyed, and 102 lives were lost.
"The Great Sheffield Flood: Its History Re-told", by Samuel Harrison (page 22), describes how "whole rows of cottages were demolished; grinding wheels and workshops were destroyed; and the land on which houses stood was transformed into a vast quagmire of mud, interspersed with stones, trees, wrecks of houses, machinery, furniture, barrels, mattresses, and every conceivable article scattered about in the wildest confusion."
Several claims were made by relatives of those that died. These include Henry Hall
, a widower with three children who was lodging at the Stag Inn at Malin Bridge.