[1794, Part I., p. 297.]
If you think the enclosed sketches of a remarkable perforated
rock in Dovedale will be acceptable to your readers, they are
very much at your service. Fig. I is a view of the entrance
of a cave called Reynard's Hall, as seen through the arch.
Fig. 2 is a view of the arch from the inside of the cave; at
about twelve yards from
this is another cave, called Reynard's Kitchen.
See the plan of these caves at Figs. 3 and 4.
The many Druidical remains that are to be met with in the Peak
afford reason to suppose that this sequestered and romantic valley
would not escape the notice of the Druids; the projecting and
high-pointed rocks, the caves, the once venerable oaks, were
well suited for the performance of their solemn rites. The approach
to the cave, through the arch, which appears partly to be formed
by art, has a striking effect, and I think it is not improbable
that these caves might have been the habitations of the principal
Druids of that district; and if the tops of these cliffs were
to be closely examined, I do not doubt but that sufficient Druidical
remains would be discovered to confirm my opinion.
Yours, etc., H. R.
[1794, Part II., p. 807)
The engraving (Plate II. ) is a view near the entrance of Dovedale,
from Ashbourne, in Derbyshire. The ground begins to rise at the
above place. Thorpe-cloud and its majestic brethren are conspicuous
for many miles round, but are seen to most advantage from the
Wirksworth road to Ashbourne. The singular shape of the Cloud,
detached from all the surrounding hills, aided by the barrenness
of the whole, composes rather a gloomy landscape. It is, perhaps,
rather worthy of remark why Nature has thus, in many spots, denied
its bounty, and separated, almost by a line, luxuriant verdure
from bleak desolation. The contrast in this neighbourhood is
particularly marked. Nothing can exceed the richness of the grounds
round Ashbourne. Every eminence produces variety. Yet I cannot
help thinking much of the beauty of the place is lost, in some
instances, by the wretched taste of whitening churches and houses
for objects. ... I am not quite certain whether I am right in
the orthography of Thorpe-cloud, as I write it merely from the
remembrance of the words as they were pronounced; if I am not,
some of your correspondents will oblige me by setting the matter
right, and giving the origin of the name. The hill has much the
appearance of a volcano-a perfect cone, separated from the chain
by the Dove, which makes an elbow at the base of it. A very good
road has been carried for some distance up the dale by a gentleman
whose name has slipped my memory. Very few places that I have
seen present so dreary an aspect as the commencement of Dovedale.
This, perhaps, was heightened by my being alone; for my only
visit to this place was in the year 1790, when totally unacquainted
with the country and its inhabitants. To my shame I have frequently
been at Ashbourne since, but never at Dovedale. It was, unfortunately
for me, a wet uncomfortable season, and after many attempts I
reached the spot represented in the print. The very singular
shape of the cone and
those pointed rocks induced me to draw them;
no doubt had I advanced I should have been amply gratified by a
more variegated scene. My propensity to climb the tremendous sides
of the hills was totally damped by hearing the horrid catastrophe
of the Dean, and lady ; a false step is irrecoverable on those
J. P. MALCOLM
[1823, Part I, p. 603.]
The river Dove, so emphatically described by Cotton as "princess
of rivers," was the spot where he and his friend Walton delighted
to lie and angle for trout, and where Cotton, in 1674, erected "a
small fishing-house," dedicated to anglers. It is thus described
in the notes of the "Complete Angler," edit. 1784, p.
"It is of stone, and the room in the inside a cube of about
15 feet; it is paved with black and white marble. In the middle
is a square black marble table, supported by two stone feet. The
room is wainscoted, with curious mouldings up to the ceiling; in
larger panels are represented in painting some of the most pleasant
of the adjacent fences, with persons fishing; and in the smaller,
various sorts of tackle and implements used in angling. In the
further corner, on the left, is a fire-place, with a chimney; and
in right, a large beaufet, with folding-doors, whereon are the
portraits of Mr. Cotton, with a boy servant and Walton, in the
dress of the time ; underneath is a cupboard, on the door whereof
are the figures of a trout and also of a grayling, which are well
But little care having been taken of this highly-distinguished
"fishing-house," I am sorry to say it has fallen to ruin.
When the well known and amiable Rev. Dr. John Evans, of Islington,
visited this house, the inscription, half filled with moss, was
almost obliterated. "I clambered"
(says Dr. Evans*) "through the window with difficulty ; but
of the interior decorations, alas ! no traces were to be found." Yet
the person who accompanied him as a guide informed him that the "little
building" (as he termed it) was in his remembrance enriched
with those rural decorations described above, and that persons
were in the habit of visiting it from a considerable distance,
even from Scotland.
The scenes on the banks of the Dove are not less romantic than
that of any river in England. It rises among hills near the points
where the three counties of Stafford, Derby and Chester meet; it
has much the quality and appearance of Welsh rivers, which flow
from a mountainous origin. The beautifully sequestered dell of
Dovedale, embosomed among bold projecting precipices, whose
lofty tops are covered with trees, is situated not far from its
source. Emerging from its hollow bed, under the pyramidal mountain
* "Juvenile Tourist," third edition (1810), p. 218.
See views of Dovedale in vol. lxiv., pp. 297, 807, 1073.
Thorpe-cloud, it receives the Manifold, which
receives the Hamps. Increased by the accession of these rivers,
the Dove passes beneath a long picturesque bridge, situated in
a most romantic spot, about a mile above the village of Ashbourne,
one of the most delightful in England, whether we regard the charms
of its situation, or the select society by which it is inhabited.
From thence the river runs along in a winding direction through
a narrow valley, agreeably diversified by a variety of elegant
seats and hamlets. Meandering round the base of the hill on which
the celebrated ruins of Tutbury Castle present themselves, it soon
after falls into the Trent. From the great declivity of its channel,
the water flows with uncommon rapidity, and in some places it dashes
precipitately over rugged rocks, shaded with foliage. In others
it is distinguished by gentle cascades.
[1795, Part I., p. 477.]
Fig. 1 in Plate III. is copied from an old brass in the church
at Dronfield, Derbyshire, on which are eight Latin lines, in
the old black letter, in memory of John Fanshawe, of Fanshawe
Gate, and Margaret, his wife, and seven of their children,
one of whom died in 1580. The arms, crests, and figures are
not disposed on the stone as they stand in the plate. I accidentally
omitted to note their relative situations when I rubbed them
off, and therefore thought it better to place them as they
are than arrange them wrong. I shall add nothing farther at
present relating to Dronfield, as I purpose, with your permission,
at a future opportunity to describe the road from Chesterfield
J. P. MALCOLM.
[1819, Part 1., p. 305.]
The neat market-town of Dronfield, in the hundred of Scarsdale,
county Derby, is pleasantly situated in a valley remarkable for
its salubrity. It is distant 6 miles north-north-west from Chesterfield,
and 155 miles from London. The number of houses in 1811 was 271,
of inhabitants 1,343. There was no church here at the time Domesday
Book was compiled, but one was probably erected soon after the
Norman Conquest, by one of the family of Brailsford, who early
possessed the advowson. Henry de Brailsford bestowed the benefice
on the neighbouring abbey of Beauchief. It was appropriated to
that monastery in 1399, and a vicarage endowed in 1403.* Very
soon after this regulation was erected the present handsome chancel
(see Plate II.), which for beauty and grandeur is exceeded by
few parochial churches. It is remarkable that this chancel is
*A copy of the Ordination is given by Dr. Pegge, in his "History
of Beauchief Abbey."
more lofty than the nave. All the fine tracery
which once, no doubt, ornamented the east window has been barbarously
The church is a handsome Gothic structure, 132 feet long, with
In the south aisle is an ancient monument to Sir Robert Barley,
of Dronfield Woodhouse. In the chancel are memorials of the families
of Fanshawe, Burton, Barker of Dore, Morewood of Hallowes, Rotheram,
Dr. Pegge supposed that the rectory of Dronfield was granted to
the Fanshawe family. The rectorial tithes have lately been sold
to the several landowners. The vicarage, which in 1730 was augmented
by Queen Anne's bounty, is in the gift of the Crown.
Henry Fanshawe, Esq., Remembrancer of the Exchequer, founded a
free school* here in 1579.
The classics have not been taught here for many years. The school,
which is open to boys of any parish, is conducted on Dr Bell's
system. General Fanshawe, an officer in the Russian service, is
the present patron of the school, as representative of the founder.
J. P. M.
[1792, Part I, p. 13.]
Duffield is a neat little town in Derbyshire, four miles from
Derby, in the turnpike-road to Wirksworth ; the approach to
it finely diversified with Cultivation, gentle rises, and fine
prospects of the river Derwent meandering through delightful
meadows. The church is faithfully represented in the annexed
drawing (Plate II.). At this town was formerly a castle, and
near it a forest, belonging to the family of Ferrers.
The bridge, of which I also send you an exact drawing, is some
little distance from the main street of Duffield, and near the
church. It is the road from Derby to Chesterfield, passing Higham,
etc. There are three pointed arches of considerable height. The
river at this place may be about 120 feet wide, very rapid, and,
a little above shallow and stony. Here may be said to commence
that long chain of rocky hills, of which Matlock, Dovedale, etc.,
make so conspicuous a part. From the bridge the hill is composed
of loose stones and sand, and so steep and difficult of ascent
that it is impossible for horses to drag the loaded coaches which
pass that way, it is therefore common for the driver to request
the passengers to alight; and I think it must be considerably
above a mile that we walked before it became sufficiently level
to take to the coach. This road must ever remain so, as the soil
will ever subject it to
* The Orders for the government of the School are printed in
Mr. Carlisle's "Endowed Grammar Schools."
See Camden, vol. ii., p. 306; from a communication of
Mr. Mander to the Society of Antiquaries, 1763
gullies from the rain rushing down, Indeed, this
part of the county is greatly improved of late, by enclosing and
fertilizing many of the hills, which formerly presented nothing
but stones and heath. Near this place is Winfield manor, a fine
Yours, etc., J. P. MALCOLM
[1792, Part I., p. 201.]
I return you the drawing (Plate I.) of Duffield bridge, near Derby,
of which an account was given in page 13. There were at the time
of the Norman Conquest a church and priest at Duffield. The present
church is dedicated to St. Alkmund, and once belonged to the
collegiate church of Our Lady, in the Newark at Leicester. It
contains little worth notice, except an altar-tomb of Sir Roger
Minors and his lady; and when I saw the church last there was
water in it to the depth of two feet, owing to a flood which
had deluged the neighbourhood.
J. P. MALCOLM.
[1795, Part II., p. 826.]
The village of Eckington lies a few miles to the east of Whittington,
so famed for the scene of the revolution in 1688. It is of
considerable size, and the rectory is one of the richest in
Derbyshire. The Rev. Christopher Alderson, LL.B., is the present
incumbent, to whom his successors will be much indebted for
the elegant improvements he has made at the rectory; which
vies with many of the best houses in the country for real taste
in its decorations. Mr. Alderson is very happy in disposing
pleasure-grounds, and has been, I am told, employed at Frogmore.
Some specimens that I have seen deserve much praise, particularly
at Ford House, Derbyshire. He has made as much as he could
of the confined limits at Eckington, as will be seen in some
degree by the print accompanying this (see Plate II.). Facing
the house there is a pretty piece of water, across which he
has thrown a handsome bridge, and at one end placed a rustic
temple. The church is a good old building, clean, and in repair.
It has been much improved by a handsome organ, put up by Mr.
Alderson. There are no monuments worthy the attention of an
antiquary in Eckington Church. It is in the gift of the Crown.
Yours, etc., J. P. MALCOLM.
[1797, Part I., p. 280.]
Hardwicke Hall is a grand object in so many points of view, that
I have been tempted to present it to your readers (see Plate
Hardwicke was built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and
possesses all the features of sublimity that
we attach to the fanciful and well-painted edifices of our best
It belongs to the Duke of Devonshire, and is situated in the
vicinity of Chesterfield and Mansfield.
"The state apartments, fitted up by the Countess of Shrewsbury
for the reception of the Queen of Scots, and on account of the
designed visit of Queen Elizabeth, remain in their primitive state," with
the original furniture, to this day, and deserve to have a large
and accurate account preserved of them, as a means of conveying
to the curious, in times to come, an exact idea of the ancient
style of living, and of the manners of that peculiar age."*
There are many ancient portraits in a long and magnificent gallery
; but the house appears almost too large for our modern mode of
The brasses marked Fig. 2 are those described by R. G. in vol.
lxiv., p. 15, from Chesterfield Church.
Yours, etc., J. P. M.
[1799, Part I, p. 449.]
As you have lately given us in your entertaining miscellany some
curious specimens of ancient churches, I have sent you a drawing
(Plate I.) of Hault Hucknall Church, in the county of Derby,
which, I think, has evident marks of its great antiquity. The
entrance appears to have been at the west end, over which,
in a semicircular compartment, are some disproportionate figures
in rude sculpture (Fig. 2), which probably refer to some passage
in Scripture. Those below, which are on a blackish stone, were
undoubted intended to represent St. Michael and the Dragon.
The position of the tower is very remarkable, being at the
east end. May not this be one of the few ancient stone churches
built by the Saxons? At least, I should imagine it was erected
soon after the Norman Conquest. There is nothing remarkable
in the inside except the monument of the famous old Hobbes.
On a black marble slab is the following epitaph:
"Condita hic sunt ossa THOMÆ
HOBBES, Malmesburiensis qui per multos annos servivit duobus
Devoniæ comitibus, patri et filio. Vir probus, et
eruditionis domi forisque bene cognitus. Obiit anno Domini,
1679, ætatis suæ 91."
The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire,
and formerly belonged to the Abbey of Croxton, in Leicestershire,
and afterwards to the Priory of Newstead. The parish includes the
hamlets of Rowthorn, Stanesby, Astwood, Arstoff, and Hardwicke.
The church is about a mile from Hardwicke Hall, where the Duke
and Duchess of Devonshire generally spend two or three months in
the autumn with great hospitality. The house is in every respect
* Mr. King, in Archæologia, v., 361.
comfortable; and the duchess has of late very
judiciously placed all the family pictures in the long gallery,
which greatly adds to the respectability of that fine old mansion.
[1793. Part I., p. 105.]
Kedleston Church (see Plate I.) is a rectory, dedicated to All
Saints. The building is more remarkable for the astonishing
load of ivy hung upon its walls than for size or beauty of
design. It is surrounded by Lord Scarsdale's noble mansion
and offices, and has been the place of sepulture for his ancestors
for many ages. A number of monuments, some ancient and decayed,
and others quite modern, adorn its mouldering walls. There
are in the pavement, near the altar, two massive pieces of
oak (circular) with rings to lift them. They excited my curiosity,
and Lord Scarsdale's servant obligingly lifted them. They closed
two Gothic circles; at the bottom of one was a head of stone
in chain-armour, in the other a female with drapery folded
round the head. There is no inscription near that may lead
to who they were, though, no doubt, some of the Curzons. Whether
it was a fancy of the designer of the tomb, or that the pavement
may have been raised, is now not to be discovered. I have never
seen anything of the kind before. Another ancient tomb of the
Curzons in this church, on which are the effigies of the persons
it was intended to commemorate, with bas-reliefs of their children
- as is common on numberless altar-tombs - has given rise to
I know not what vulgar tradition of the lady's having had a
number of children at a birth, and one dropping somewhere and
being lost. I do not contend that I am quite correct in the
particulars of this wonderful story, though it has been repeated
to me almost every time I mentioned the church when in Derbyshire.
The two modern monuments, I think, were designed by Mr. Adams,
the architect. They are large, of statuary marble, and beautifully
sculptured. Those are near the altar: The old tombs are in
a kind of chapel, formed of .the south transept of the cross,
in which shape the church is built.
Yours, etc., J. P. MALCOLM