On 11 March 1864 the Dale Dyke Dam, located eight miles from Sheffield, collapsed releasing a torrent of water that devastated large parts of the city and beyond. The flood killed 240 people and destroyed mills, workshops and houses in its path. Some of these workshops were on Kelham Island.
A total of 10 claims for damaged items and property were made by companies and individuals on the Island after the flood. One of these claims was made by John Crowley, who by 1864 had many buildings and 300 employees on the Kelham Island Site.
Other claims from the Island included the saw and file manufacturers, Messers Wheatman and Smith who were based at Russell Works. This building still stands today and now houses The Hawley Gallery and the Crucible Shop as part of the museum.
In 2007, a flood was to devastate the Island once again. On the 25th June after unprecedented rain fall, the River Don swelled its banks and flooded along the Don Valley area. The museum buildings were inundated and flooded to over a metre deep. The water swept away objects and displays as well as leaving flood debris in its wake.
The museum was closed for over 18 months, reopening in Sept 2008. You can see the red line around the museum which shows the water level and see footage of the floods and damage. The museum received insurance money to build new flood defences, these were completed in December 2011.