The Sheffield Flood of 1864

KS2 (although can be adapted for younger children)

Victorian Sheffield was a hugely successful industrial town. Its factories and population required an ever-increasing amount of water to drive the burgeoning economy.

A new water reservoir was needed!

So it was built. But were corners cut? Were danger signs ignored?

On the stormy night of 11 March 1864 a crack appeared in the new reservoir’s dam wall and what followed caused 240 people to lose their lives and hundreds of homes and businesses to be destroyed. What were these people’s stories? How were people compensated?

Why did it happen? And whose fault was it?

Your children will be..

  • Your children become the people of Sheffield who lived and worked in the path of the torrent
  • They ‘forge’ cutlery and tools
  • They experience the home lives of local cottagers using lots of artefacts and activities
  • They test out water wheels to discover how they worked and why Sheffield needed them for its industry
  • They discover and re-enact the stories of the flood – of people who died and those who survived
  • They read replica newspapers of the day
  • They use dip pens to write newspaper reports of a dog’s great bravery
  • They discover the use of photography in reporting the dreadful event and use a replica camera of the time to pose for a photo
  • They become part of the Committee assessing Flood Claims to recompense losses and discover Victorian values
  • Then they pass judgement on who was to blame!

‘The Great Sheffield Flood’ helps you teach the local history component of the history curriculum through a memorable hands-on day where your children learn facts through fun and involvement in their local history.

Schools booking for more than 1 class will be provided with teacher-led activities for use when they are not with Kathryn, so that all the children are involved throughout the day.

Prices: £190/£295 for half/full day plus £30 for each extra class plus travel expenses – please enquire to discuss exact costs –

Victorian Era Classroom Topic Boxes

Topic specific books, chosen by you to be used in your classroom throughout your topic. Available to rent or to buy outright, please get in touch to discuss your classroom needs. All books are available to view and purchase here.