|"The Gem of the Peak"*
|Eighteenth and nineteenth century tour guides about Matlock Bath and Matlock
Matlock Bath in 1840
[This section has been transcribed In full]
GEM OF THE PEAK.
"To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And MORTAL FOOT HATH NE'ER OR RARELY BEEN ;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold ;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean,
This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unroll'd."
| The primitive and modern state of the Dale contrasted
[This section has been transcribed in full]
THE PRIMITIVE AND MODERN STATE OF THE DALE CONTRASTED, ITS GEOLOGICAL
CHARACTER, CLIMATE, MINERAL WATERS, AND EARLY HISTORY.
IN commencing a work professing to be a description of Matlock Bath,
it seems most consistent that we should begin by attempting to describe
the primitive state of that lovely Dale in which it is situated, and
to the romantic beauties of which it owes its fame.
About a century and a half ago, what is now termed Matlock Bath had
no existence-not a human habitation was to be found in the whole extent
of its rugged Dale; except, perhaps, a solitary miner's cot, or mining
coe, scarcely attracting notice from its grey colour and rude construction,
so naturally harmonizing and blending with the stupendous cliffs on
the shelving sides of which they were placed. Then the lovely Derwent,
like a silver thread, wound its solitary
way amongst its lofty peaks; here lashing their base and rolling in
foam over their broken fragments; and there, where the Dale expanded,
hushed into a gentle murmur as it glided over lts smooth and pebbly
bed, unknown and unheeded, save by the shepherd when in quest of his
flock that browsed in its recesses, descending the Dale and mingling
his shrill whistle with the roar of its waters, or by the untaught
peasant from the neighbouring villages and hamlets, who, instead of
being reminded by " the church going bell" ; of his duty
to his Maker, strayed and whiled away many an idle hour on holy Sabbath-day
to no good purpose; or by the hardy and fearless miner, who threaded
his way over its solitary paths, to his accustomed labour in the dark
recesses of the mines which abounded, and were worked from time immemorial,
in its immediate neighbourhood.
A visit to Matlock Dale at this period, when its solitude was seldom
broken in upon, or its silence disturbed, except by its native choristers,
the hoarse roar of its waters, or the dashing of its insignificant
but lovely waterfalls, as they leaped in succession over the rough
and broken ledges of the tufa margin into its stream, must have been
truly imposing amongst such sublime and beautiful scenery. Here on
the one hand we have the stupendous mural precipices, with their castellated
peaks, richly mantled with evergreens, giving grace and beauty to
their bold forms, their sloping bases clothed with brushwood and stunted
trees, and on the other, bold ridges with steep sides, which, in some
places, exhibit immense ribs of rock descending rapidly from about
midway from the top to the river's edge, ranged in succession like
a series of mighty buttresses, as if to give support and stability
to the whole mass, and confining the river to a narrow compass within
" these marble jaws," over which it breaks in fury, but
escaping these it assumes the glassy smoothness of a still lake, bordered
here and there with flat patches of the richest verdure, affording
a sweet resting point to the stranger, who, perchance, might venture
amidst its wilds to contemplate its peerless beauties. It is precisely
this state of things which now gives to Dovedale, with far less attractions,
a decided superiority, and by which it produces a more profound sensation
in the breast of the beholder-that is the absence of all human effort
to change its native character, or generally to intrude his
dwelling amongst its solitudes. It was this, doubtless, which induced
that hapless but noble
and gifted poet, Byron, to prefer it. He who loved solitude at times
so much as to lead him to remark,
" I love not man the less hut nature more ;"
and which led to the following beautiful stanza in his " Childe
Harold," which we quote at length, as being peculiarly appropriate
to the primitive state of the Dale :-
" There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture in the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea and music in its roar ;
I love not man the less but nature more
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal."
| Present state of the Dale
[This section has been transcribed in full]
How altered now from its primitive state of rural grandeur and
artless simplicity, A spirit of change has passed over the scene,
The tide of civilization (as it is called) has broken in amongst
its rocks and hills, and subjected this, like most other places,
to great and sweeping alterations, which has not, however, altogether
extinguished its match-less beauties, Its High Tor stands as bleak,
as lofty, and as prominent as ever, with perhaps the additional
grace of a more ample and woody mantle, and this last feature
has attained, to a wild and magnificent profusion on the less
bold but more extended series of rocks opposite to the Bath -only
in this way, (except it may be a few lovely walks) has this spirit
affected the bold and rugged aspect of the past on one side of
the Dale: but on the other we have fine gardens, cultivated fields,
spacious hotels, and baths, splendid shops, lodging houses, and
cottages, scattered here and there, over almost all the lower
and middle spaces-and studded one above another as if on a series
of beautiful terraces, which, contrasted with the bold and mantled
features of the opposite side, is most enchanting and overpowering
to a stranger, when suddenly brought through its rugged portal
at " Scarthin Nick,"
and threading his way on the top of one of our fast coaches through
the narrow defile, new beauties and more magnificent scenery unfolding
every moment to
his view, until he emerges into the more elevated parts; and has
a splendid view of the principal portion of Matlock Bath brought
fully before him, deeply embosomed in the valley and situated
at the base, and on the lower part of the steep and almost perpendicular
acclivities of one of its boldest ridges. This ridge rises rapidly
at an angle of from 35 to 45 degrees to the height of 800 feet,
clothed to the top with the pine, fir, and glossy beech, and extending
right across the Dale, blocking up apparently all further egress
in this quarter except by scaling it, no very pleasant idea to
the weary traveller. When dark clouds hang over its summit, or
the weather is misty, and lowering; it assumes still more gigantic
dimensions, its dark crown-pined top then, so blending with them,
appears more like the dark impending masses which rollover it,
and so great is the deception at times that many have been mistaken
respecting it. This is seen to the greatest advantage on arriving
opposite Walker's Hotel on the decline of the hill into the lower
part of the Dale.* Added to all these striking changes which has
altered its original condition, Matlock can now boast of one of
the best roads in the kingdom, which renders it of easy access
from all parts; and this is much facilitated by several coaches,
besides the mail, passing through it daily. And owing to the great
beauty of the country through which the entire line passes from
Derby to Buxton, it promises to become the chief middle
road to the North: for who would not prefer to ride through the
lovely scenery of the Peak, when It can be done with equal facility
and safety, as on passing
over any of the other lines. The entrance from the North
is magnificent, which will be noticed in another place.
*Masson Cottage, built by the late Mr. Mawe, the upper and lower towers
by Mr. Gilbert, and Guild-de-Roy, by Messrs. Pechell and Atkinson,
are striking objects from this point; the upper tower is situated
on an old mine hillock, near the top of the heights, and is very conspicuous.
This road enters the Dale at Cromford, where it has been cut
through the solid rock 20 feet in depth, it takes the direction of
the Dale westward, close by the side of the river, then turns to the
north by the chapel, runs in a winding course till it reaches the
lower part of Matlock, then it turns due east for a quarter of a mile,
resumes its direction north under the noble Tor; then inclining a
little to the east emerges from its confined route into the open meadows
near the village of Matlock, extending from its point of entrance
to its outlet about two miles and a half, and follows the course of
the stream throughout.
| The south entrance to Matlock Dale
[This section has been transcribed in full]
SOUTH AND NORTH ENTRANCE. THE HOTELS, BOARD AND LODGING HOUSES, BATHS,
TERRACES, SCENERY AND NEW CHURCH.
THE first object, on entering the Date from Cromford, which arrests
the attention on passing the rocky barrier, is the pretty little gate
of Willersley Castle, sadly out of place among such scenery, but the
eye is instantly relieved from this incongruity by the splendid appearance of the Castle itself, built on a bold eminence at the foot of a rugged
but well wooded cliff, with its lovely lawns, and groups of cattle
and sheep grazing-the river rippling and swelling over its stony bed,
laving their bases. Here the road has been made at great expense on
the steep side of the narrow ridge which bounds the left and separates
the Dale from Cromford. The view in front is remarkably bold and mountainous: the noble peak of Masson is seen raising its lofty head over the windings
of the Dale, which is here narrow, finely curved, and profusely wooded.
The road takes a westerly direction, then suddenly turns to the North,
disclosing at once the splendid rocks which burst upon the view through
an opening up the river, exhibiting a beautiful waterfall, foaming
over the "weir" and rough bed below it, also the
wild Cat Tor, and Masson Mill.*
Arkwright's cotton mill
At this point we arrive at the house of the Independent Minister,
attached to, and connected with Lady Glenorky's Chapel; on passing
which, on the rise of the hill to the left, we come upon Mr. Milnes's
offices, a group of cottages and the Rutland Arms (lately built),
and instantly the Mill comes into view to the right. The clatter of
its thousand spindles and the tinkling of its bells, warning the attendant its hank,
*The View here at night is exceedingly imposing. The spacious mill,
with its hundred lights reflecting on the river and thick foliage,
mingling the din of its wheels with the noise of the waterfall.
or proper quantity is completed, instantly strike upon the ear. In
alluding to this Mill, so magnificently situated, Dr. Darwin, with
his usual power and facility, wrote the following lines, which shews
what true genius can do.
Invest the most common objects, and some of the meanest occupations,
with the mantle of poetry, giving them a beauty and sublimity they
do not naturally possess; for instance, let anyone observe the 14th
" Combs the wide card, and FORMS THE ETERNAL LINE,"
Here finely contrasting the indefinite extent of the thread
that might encircle a world with the mode of its production.
" So now where Derwent guides his dusky flood
Through Vaulted Mountains and a night of wood,
The nymph, Gossypia,* treads the velvet sod
And warms with rosy smiles the wat'ry god ;
His pondrous oars to slender spindles turns,
And pours o'er mossy wheels his foaming urns;
With playful charms her hoary lover wins ,
And wheels his trident-while the monarch spins.
First with nice eye emerging Naiads cul
From leathery pods the vegetable wool;
With wiry teeth the revolving cards release
The tangled knots and smooth the ravell'd fleece ;
Next moves the iron hand with fingers fine,
Combs the wide card, and FORMS THE ETERNAL LINE ;
Slow with soft lips, the whirling can acquires
The tender skeins, and wraps In rising spires;
With quickening pace successive rollers move,
And these retain, and those extend the rove,
Then fly the spoles the rapid axles glow
While slowly circumvalves the labouring wheel below."
Close by this, and on the same side, is an extensive paper mill belonging to Mr. Symonds, who carries on a considerable trade in that important
article-paper of almost every quality being produced in the mill.
To the left and immediately opposite to the mill is the residence
of CHARLES CLARKE, esq, (a magistrate of the county) built on an elevated
platform and commanding a sweet view of the South end of the Dale
and Willersley grounds-this is strikingly conspicuous by the massive
and lofty wall recently built up from the
*From the name of the cotton plant, Gossypium.
Quantities of the pods or pericarps of the raw Cotton, very
like leather, of a brown colour and shrivelled, occur in the bales.
" Can."-Tin Cylinders which receive the Cotton from
the card and rollers, and which by their circular motion gives it
a slight twist as the Cotton falls and coils into them.
road to give greater space and security to the terrace in front of
the house.* From this we immediately reach the narrow pass at the
Toll-Bar, and the first object which strikes the attention is the
Post Office, a large square brick building just in front. Upon the
left is the King's Head, Skidmore's shop and some lodging houses,
between these and the Post Office at the top of the old road is seen
standing conspicuously the New Bath, which if the traveller means
to reach he must take this road. It also leads on to the beauteous
green as it is called in front of it, and to Walker's Hotel. But on
proceeding to any other part of the Bath, the lower road must be taken-a
little beyond this on passing The Spar shops and cottages to
the right and left, and just opposite to Walker's Hotel, the finest
view of the Bath and the Heights of Abraham is obtained, which cannot
fail to surprise and delight a stranger, from its magnificence and
beauty. The deep ravine, splendid rocks, and river to the right heighten
the interest of this view considerably. As we proceed a little further
the rough Tufa bank of the Old Bath Terrace, lately much dressed
and smoothed off by the busy hand of the gardener, bounds the road
on the left; above which the Old Bath Hotel stands, a long building
of unequal proportions; from its having been added to successively
as the number of visitors yearly increased. The road leading
to this, and also to the Temple, takes the higher ground to the left
of the rude grit stone obelisk.§ But all the coaches proceed
on through the stable yard down to the Museum parade, and stop at
Hodgkinson's Hotel, where most of them change horses, and where we
*This was the residence of the ancient and respectable family of the
Wolleys. The present inheritor married the youngest daughter of the
late Adam Wolley, Esq. who was a celebrated antiquary, and an eminent
Lawyer.-" He bequeathed his valuable manuscripts, chiefly relating
to this county, to the British Museum," called the Wolley MSS.
The ancient Manor of Riber, or Riber Hall, was originally the property
of this family. It is situated on the top of Riber hill, and now converted
into two dwellings, or farm houses.
This point has already been noticed in our remarks on the "
Modern State of the Dale," which see.
Between this Hotel and Walker's the New Church is intended
to be built.
§ On cutting the Tufa bank to make the present road, the workmen
found the head and immense Antlers of a Moose Deer, which were sent
to the British Museum; and in building the stables at the New Bath
the entire Skeleton of this animal was found.
shall leave the traveller, for the present, to get himself quietly
domiciled in some one of the many excellent Hotels or houses in Matlock,
and shall proceed to give a sketch of the
| The north entrance to Matlock Dale
[This section has been transcribed in full]
" Here Rocks on Rocks, on forests, forests rise,
Spurn the low earth and mingle with the Skies ;-
Great nature, slumbering by fair Derwent's stream,
Conceived these Giant Mountains in a dream."
Peak Mountains, by J. Montgomery.
" THE romantic and sublimely picturesque scenery of Matlock
Dale," observes the writer of the Beauties of England
and Wales, " is viewed to most advantage when approached from
the bridge near its Northern extremity, as its beauties there succeed
each other in a gradation which renders their grandeur and effect
more impressive." This is certainly true, and we cannot suffer
a Second Edition to go to press without attempting to point
out some of the interesting objects which meet the eye of the stranger
on entering Matlock from this point.
The stranger on leaving Darley Dale and making his way up the narrow
dell, and even over Matlock bridge, can have no conception of the
romantic and magnificent scenery about to burst upon his sight in
a few more minutes. The bold knoll and precipitous rock, on the
verge of which stands Matlock Church, may fail to rivet his attention
till approaching the Boat House, when the Horse Tor, a lofty angular
rock, is disclosed on the left of the road, and between which and
the cliff on the right is seen, like " Ossa upon Pelion,"
the bold and wavy outline of Masson side, towering upwards to the
top of the Heights of Abraham crowned with dark pines. From hence
every view is of a bolder description till reaching the Toll-Bar,
when the High Tor is seen in all his proud majesty. To describe this view would be as difficult as it has been found to sketch it, as every exhibition of the Artist's talent has failed in some one point or other to do it full justice.
The lofty Rock (about 400
feet in height) seems to start up from the bed of the river, here
a turbulent stream, dashing over the rude blocks that impede its
progress-giving an air of still greater interest to this Monarch
of the Dale, which, with the exception of a small intermediate portion, exhibits one unbroken perpendicular
face from the top to the bottom. - Here let the reader imagine this
lofty Rock with its mighty adjuncts and river on one side
of him, and the craggy and waved outline of Masson towering
above him on the other, with abundance of wood giving richness to
the scene, and he may form some idea of this part of the Dale. But
as we have already spoken of this part in our geological remarks,
and on the High Tor itself, we shall now simply point out the gentlemen's
seats and other objects as they present themselves in succession.
We may as well observe that the first house we come to on passing
the Boat House (a small Inn at the entrance) is Mrs. Brinsley's,
the Matlock carrier alternately to Sheffield and Derby, and who
has charge of the ferry leading to Matlock village close by. Just
beyond this a road leads up the cliff to Rock Ville and Cliff
House. The former has been built but a short time by Edward Payne,
Esq. and is in the Swiss style, and in excellent keeping with the
scenery.-The latter is an old house which may be seen at the top
of the Cliff , above and belongs to Miss Leacroft, and is the residence
of William Greaves, esq. This commands some magnificent views.
On proceeding into the Dale, we come to, in succession, Mr. Chinnery's
Cottages, then Dale Cottage, beautifully situated, the residence
of Mrs. Mitchell ; then Fox's Lodging Houses by the Toll-Bar, a
good building, and beyond in a bold and singular position darkly
shaded with trees is seen Tor Cottage, now the residence of H. Collingwood,
esq. This, with Rock Ville, is the property of Edward Payne, esq.
and was the first Cottage in this style built in the Dale. Immediately
opposite the High Tor is Neal's and Robinson's Lodging Houses. The
latter has excellent walks and a good garden connected with it.
One more house for Lodgings (Mr. W. Smedley's) we have to name,
opposite to which is the Side Mine Hillock, miners coes and
engine house, which contains a wheel of 80 horse power. Nothing
of the Bath is seen till proceeding further and turning a bold angle
where the road runs to the westward, then it comes into view beautifully
embosomed at the foot of the Heights amongst the richest foliage.
The first Hotel reached coming from the North is Hodgkinson's on
the Museum Parade, and beyond, in an elevated position, may
be seen the Old Bath Hotel, &c.,
[Footnote at the bottom of Page 32]
*This is particularly the case by, or over, the Side Mine.
A most interesting walk by this house leads to the wood on the
Heights, and from thence into the zigzag and so down into Matlock
[Extracts from here onwards
are in note form]
| Where to stay in 1840
Old Bath Hotel -
'apart from the Villa, this is the oldest dwelling house'. On this
site the first spring was discovered 'to which circumstance owes its
existence. Lord George Byron, the Romantic poet, and Sir Walter Scott,
the novelist, both stayed here. Room No. 5 has the name "Walter
Scott" , dated 19th September, 1815, written on a
pane of glass in the centre window. There were 'two good baths, one
for the ladies and another for the gentlemen' and 'also hot and shower
baths of any temperature required. Mrs. Cumming has kept and admirably
managed this house for many years'.
The New Bath - 'on the extreme 'South end of the
Tufa terrace'. Underneath the North wing is 'the hot and tepid Bath,
very commodious and convenient for bathers. Mr. Saxton has possessed
this house for upwards of fifty years, and from the way in which he
has managed it for so long a period, and the character he sustains,
together with the unremitting attentions of the younger branches of
his family to the wants and comforts of the company, it has obtained
a high reputation.
The garden is beautiful'.
The terms of bathing at
The Old and New Bath hotels in 1840
Tepid, Swimming , or Plunging Bath,
.. 2s 6d
Cold Shower ditto
.. 1s 0d
Hot shower ditto
.. 2s 6d
Hotel's providing good stabling,
but not Posting Houses
Temple Hotel ('originally a lodging house or appendage
to the Old Bath'): the property and under the management of Mrs. Evans.
'Beautifully situated, being raised on a series of terraces. The upper
one is partly of made ground, being built up on one side, and at an
elevation above the valley of nearly 100 feet. The view from this,
though confined, is exceedingly beautiful. ... It passed out of the
hands of the Old Bath proprietors above thirty years ago'. [Named
as "The Temple" in Davies' book published in 1811]
Walker's Hotel: North end of Saxton's
Green. 'Being on the same Green as the New Bath, this House possesses,
from its position, views of equal grandeur and beauty ... It is a
nice, clean-looking well built house'. Boats on the river also owned
by Mr. Walker, so visitors at his hotel were able to use them without
Hodgkinson's Hotel: Museum Parade. 'Here most
of the coaches change horses. It originally formed part of the Great
Hotel ... It has the advantage of one of the best cellars in the kingdom.'
'Good and respectable Public - houses'
Mr. J. Standall: the King's Head (nr. The Toll
Mrs. Smedley: Devonshire Arms, Museum Parade
Annis Hill: Rutland Arms (opposite Masson Mill)
(* indicates Boarding Houses)
Mr. William Derbyshire**
Mr. J. Smith
|Road to Heights
Mr. William Pearson
Mr. Broadfoot (Villa Field) - stabling and coach house
J. Rawlinson, esq. (Belle Vue)
Peter Smedley (group of cottages)
Mr. Walker (by lodge gates)
The Tower (__ Pechell, esq.)
Masson Cottage (S. Mawe, London)
"Guild de Roy" (__ Pechell, esq.)
|South End of the Bath:
(NR Saxton's Green)
*Miss Shore (the Post Office)
Mr. Joseph Pearson
Mr Boden (in wood behind Old Bath)
|Under High Tor:
Mr. William Smedley
Mr. Fox' (NR The Toll Bar)
* It is unclear if these two are the same person
| What to see and do in 1840
Caverns and Mines in 1840
'The Cumberland Cavern, belonging to Messrs. Peter
and John Smedley, is the oldest and most natural, the largest but
one in Matlock
Viewed geologically, it is by far the most interesting
. ... It has been shewn as a Cavern for about seventy years'
advertisement for the Cumberland Cavern, about 1869
'Devonshire Cavern.- ... this Cavern, discovered
in 1824 ... It is of easy access and dry. This cavern is not so large
as the other two, is remarkably distinguished from them by a spacious
opening ... when lit
by a Bengal light
it is truly
This Cavern is exhibited to perfection by B. Bryan, the guide,
who is perfectly "au fait" in guiding.'
Fluor Cavern 'This is a pretty
little Cavern, once shown in connection with the Romantic Rocks for
1s.' [One shilling]
The fine clear cubic fluor spar is worked up into the form of hearts,
etc.'. The Mine [the Speedwell] 'is still in work.
Benjamin Froggatt, an intelligent and remarkably civil man,
shews this and the Fluor rocks, and is also guide to the scenery.
'The Rutland,* (Mr. Pechell's) is decidedly the
largest Cavern in Matlock, presenting the most magnificent openings,
and what adds considerably to the interest is, that the whole of these
mighty excavations have been effected throughout successive ages by
the agency of man
. The natural arches, lofty openings, are not
unlike those of cathedrals, when lit, are magnificent.
cavern is so spacious that it is stated 10,000 men might be hidden
away in it.
It is perfectly dry and easy of access. This is
situated on the Heights of Abraham up the zigzag'.
*'The old Nestor mine'
The Side Mine, under 'the High Tor, is one of
considerable interest. The High Tor grotto close by, exhibits some
romantic openings, and the finest crystallizations of calcarious or
dog tooth spar in these kingdoms.' This housed pumps and a gigantic
wheel, but Adams records: 'This is now out of work and belongs to
Mr. Boothman of Manchester. There is no climbing in it. The High Tor
Grotto, close by, exhibits some romantic openings'.
'The charge for admittance to all these Caverns and Mines is one shilling
each, exclusive of the guide and Blue or Bengal lights; the use of
the latter is perfectly optional. Chief guides B. Froggat and B. Bryan;
the former will be found on the Old Bath Terrace generally, and the
latter on the Museum Parade'.
|The following reference relating to
the Devonshire Cavern appears in Benjamin Bryan's History
"Up to the year 1860, when he died, it was the property
of the late Mr. Benjamin Bryan, who exhibited it to visitors
and from time to time obtained lead ore from it. At one
period, too, he sought to relieve the dreary monotony of
the Matlock Bath winter season by representations therein
of the incantation scene from Shakespeare's tragedy of
"Macbeth," an enterprise that was attended
|*Peter Aspey describes the Great Rutland
Cavern (The Nestus Mine or Nestor Mine) and the Great Masson
Cavern, from his own experience of living at the Heights
Peter lived at the Heights of Abraham as a boy and the Rutland
Cavern is within the grounds.
The Cumberland, the oldest cavern
Wolley Manuscripts, Matlock a major collection of
pre 1828 documents, mentions the caverns and mines
Museums and Museum Shops in
'Mawe's Old Museum, now
Adam & Co was housed in a room that
had been the dining room of the Great Hotel 'and purchased
for its present purpose about 29 years since by Mr. Brown
and Son, of Derby, whose first establishment was the small
shop on the Green, opened in 1810, (now the Bazaar)' ...
[Mawe and his father in law, Brown, were the proprietors of a shop in London]
The Centre Museum (Mr Vallance).
Museum only 9 years old in 1840, but Mr. Vallance had been 'in the
business for many years'; he had been Mawe's agent. His workshops
were opposite his museum.
Mr. Buxton's Royal Museum - 'a spar shop for 11
or 12 years'
'...but it should be observed,
that this museum contains the largest Blue John Vase
in the world for which £100. has been offered
and refused; a splendid pair of black marble handled
Vases, engraved after the Borghesi and Medicean (2 ½ feet
high, by 1 foot 8 over;)
'... The workshops were to 'the North of the Bath,
up the hill by the Hotel, in the stable yard'. Mawe
was entitled to use the term Royal as he had supplied
the Royal family.
Mr Joseph Pearson - two shops: one on the road
side near the obelisk and the other on Temple Walk
Mr Peter Smedley -
on Temple Walk -'the oldest worker and member in the spar-trade.'
Mr John Smedley - on the Green - 'manufactures
his own goods, has been in the trade since childhood'.
Mr Boden's - 'by the Post office'
Mr Walker's -'over the ferry by the boats'.
The Bazaar. 'Up on
the Green by Walker's Hotel, belongs to Mr. Hartle, manufacturer
There was also a Royal Museum Library which
contained about 1,000 books and 'took in' various papers and periodicals.
Petrifying Wells in 1840
'These are standing illustrations of the mode in which the vast Tufa Terrace, in which they are situated, has been formed in times past, when man disturbed not the natural operations of the hot Springs which were once free and unrestrained, spreading over the base of the mountain. In these are found articles of all kinds, sent even from a distance to be petrified, and old wigs among the rest. But the parties here chiefly put in birds' nests and eggs, as being of more ready sale, which are simply encrusted by the limestone precipitates from the water as it rapidly evaporates, and to see this in actual operation forms a strong inducement to parties to visit them.'
The Royal Well (Mr. Joseph Pearson) was visited by the then Princess (later Queen) Victoria on 22 Oct 1832. 'On the roadside, just under the way leading to the Old Bath'.
Mr Peter Smedley's - 'under his spar shops
a piece of cable of a man of war (the Victory) is now being petrified'.
Mr Boden's - 'by the Post office, near Saxton's Green, where the head and antlers still are on the deer killed at Chatsworth, on the arrival of princess Victoria.'
Articles are "petrified" when
they are changed into a stone or stone substance. The
original material is replaced by a calcareous or other
mineral deposit. The first use of the word is given in
the Oxford English Dictionary as 1646. The water that
percolates through the tufa dissolves minerals from the
rock which are re-deposited when the water drips onto
whatever object is placed beneath it. This is a lengthy
process, in some cases taking several years.
Adam noted that these articles 'must be shifted
every now and then to prevent them sticking to each other,
or to the bottom'. Moss, leaves and even branches of
trees have all been 'petrified' over the years.
The Great Petrifying Well
Petrifying Well, nineteenth
FAQ for more about this
Fountain Gardens - property of Mrs. Gilbert (to the North of the
The zigzag route to the Heights of Abraham passed through the gardens.
Lover's Walk - across the River Derwent by boat (boats have been
owned by Mr. Walker and his father for eighty years). Charge 6d
[six pence] each for walk and sail.
Masson and the Heights of Abraham - often a charge of 6d [six pence]
was asked for at the Lodge-gate to proceed to the Heights (1s [one
shilling] for the whole year). The walk is free if one shilling
has been paid to visit the Cavern. 'The summit of the Heights of
Abraham (or Masson Low) commands most interesting views over a vast
extent of country; the eye ranges over a great portion of five counties'.
High Tor - The Tor is 396 feet high. The top of the Cross on St.
Paul's Cathedral, London in 360. 'The bare, perpendicular face is
about 150 feet'.
The Romantic Rocks - "Ten minutes from the Old Bath Terrace"
| General Notices
Post Office, below Saxton's hotel. Postmistress,
Coaches. To the North,
morning. To the South, afternoon.
Flies or Open Carriages, with
One horse per. Mile, 1s
. per Hour, 3s 6d
To Church, Cromford 3s 6d ___ Ditto Matlock 5s.
Parties keeping these are,
Mrs. Cumming, Old Bath __
Mr. Saxton, New Bath
(Posting houses) _ Mr. Wood, Mr. J. Smith, Mr. T. Alsop
Ponies and Donkies, 1s per. Hour
Mr. J. Pearson, J. Smedley, and Hollingsworth.
All these are in constant attention, and may be had at a minute's
|Hours of Divine Service
|Matlock Church, Rev. Mr. Melville
||½ past 10
|Cromford Church, Rev. Mr. Jones
||¼ to 11
|Bonsall Church, Rev. Mr. Greville
||½ past 10
|Independent Chapel, Rev. Mr. Perkins
||½ past 6
Miss Saxton's, Matlock Bridge, delightfully situated, and an excellent
Miss Hall's, Lower Tower, Matlock Bath, is a commanding and healthful
Miss Hawkridge, Masson Cottage.
Images and further extracts from "The
Gem of the Peak"
elsewhere on this web site
"The Gem of the Peak" by W. Adam pub. London; Longman
& Co., Paternoster Row MDCCCXL . 2nd Edition.
Both OCRed and manually transcribed by Ann Andrews from her personal
*Originally published on the internet as ../matlock/matbath_1840.htm
with the title "Matlock Bath in 1840"
There may be more information elsewhere on this
Arkwright's Cotton Mill
Biography of Charles Clarke of Masson House
Bath : Cat Tor, 1913 Lovely B&W postcard
may be of interest
more book scans
colour painting of the 'Rocks at Matlock' by Sir Robert
Ker Porter (1777 - 1842), part of the Tate's Opp Collection