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Porter Clough

Crossing Woodcliffe at Carr Bridge, close to the confluence of the river Porter and the May Brook, a path enters the Porter Clough section of the Porter Valley. A stone near the entrance records the gift of the land to the city by the J G Graves Trust in 1938.

To the right is a small hamlet, Carr Houses, typical of the settlements in this part of the valley. The original, left-hand end of the terrace dates back to 1675 and in 1707 was a small public house.

As you walk up the path, across the fields to the right are a cluster of buildings on the site of the former Fulwood Corn Mills, the highest water mills in the valley. The lower mill was demolished  around 1950 and both the dams filled in. However, the main buildings of the upper mill are still occupied.


It was at this mill that buttons and snuff boxes, produced lower down the valley at the works of Thomas Boulsover, were given their final buffing and polishing.


After crossing Mark Lane, the main path continues uphill and is easy to miss as it runs parallel to Clough Lane. It closely follows the course of the Porter Brook as it crosses to either side a couple of times, as the gradient begins to increase.

The Waterfall

Known affectionately as The Porter Falls, this is the only natural waterfall on the river. At only four metres high they can be a spectacular sight after heavy rain.

A small bridge across the brook bears a plaque in memory of Oliver Gilbert, a renowned ecologist and Friend of the Porter Valley who inspired the restoration of the bridge.


Jacobs Ladder

Not far above the Falls, and to the left of Clough Lane, is a very steep path straight up the hillside known as Jacob’s Ladder. This was once the site of a ski lift operated by the Sheffield Ski Club and the slope is still a popular place for winter sports.

From here, the main walk leaves Clough Lane and enters a deep wooded ravine containing many beech trees. The path becomes narrow with very steep, dramatic sides as it reaches its steepest gradient.

The surrounding landscape is rural in character and the clough itself is informal, with natural woodland along what is the narrowest section of the valley.

Hares can be seen throughout the clough, and birds of prey such as kestrel, buzzards and sparrow hawk are regularly spotted as are crows, rooks and ravens.

Public Footpath to |Jacobs Ladder

Source of the Porter


At the top, on Fulwood Lane there is a Toposcope, or orientation cairn, as shown at the top of this page. Built in 2005 and funded by local Rotary Clubs, it indicates the direction and distance to notable features which can be seen on a clear day.

Across the road the path continues through the open fields to the old Brown Edge Quarries which were well known for producing high quality sandstone roofing slates.

The source of the Porter is beyond the quarry where a boundary fence marks the start of Hallam Moors, a sphagnum bog on the watershed above Ringinglow.

A wooden footbridge gives access to a gate that leads you onto Rud Hill where you can enjoy panoramic views back down the valley. 

Source of Porter
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