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Matlock & Matlock Bath Guides
Eighteenth and nineteenth century tour guides about Matlock Bath and Matlock

Writers described, in the most glowing terms, the many splendours of Matlock
and the surrounding countryside. By Matlock they really meant Matlock Bath.
Included here are extracts from twelve of their books

Although these days Matlock is considerably larger than Matlock Bath, this wasn't the case when the majority of the travel books transcribed on this website were published. So what we now think of as Matlock was only mentioned in passing, as either the village of Matlock (i.e. Old Matlock or Matlock Town) or as Matlock Bank. It was only in the latter half of the nineteenth century that more information about Matlock as we know it today was included in such books. The Napoleonic Wars in the early part of the century had meant that people could not travel to the Continent, so tourism flourished at home. These books supplied a need to satisfy discerning British travellers and were highly regarded, and some provided a huge amount of fascinating information. To quote the "Edinburgh Reporter" (1840) on reviewing Adam's "Gem of the Peak": 'This work is much superior to the generality of Guide-books'.

In this section of the Matlock and Matlock Bath website you'll find complete transcripts and selected extracts covering everything from cotton manufacture, black marble, Blue John, hydropathy to the spectacular scenery. Many guides contained beautiful engravings and, where possible, these have been included with the text.

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Larger Matlock Guides (5), illustrated, and indexed
Moore's Picturesque Excursions from Derby to Matlock Bath Moore, 1818
The Matlock section of "Picturesque Excursions from Derby to Matlock Bath and its vicinity; being a Descriptive Guide" (1818). With Moore's wonderful engravings
The Panorama of Matlock Barker, 1827
Transcript of "The Panorama of Matlock and Its Environs With The Tour of the Peak" (1827).
Also see the frontispiece from the 3rd edition of 1828
Days in Derbyshire Hall, 1863
"Days in Derbyshire" (1863) by T S Hall. Dr Timothy Spencer Hall, the author of this illustrated guide, nearly bought a house on the Bank, which was subsequently purchased by John Smedley.
Includes numerous advertisements.

Croston, 1868
On Foot Through the Peak; or a Summer Saunter Through the Hills and Dales of Derbyshire"
Matlock and Matlock Bath extracts, including an interesting perambulation around Matlock Bath which refers to the people seen on the street as well as the usual buildings and scenery. His detailed section on the caverns, especially the now closed Cumberland Cavern, describes exactly what they were like.
Includes advertisements.

Bemroses' Guide Bemrose, 1869
"Bemroses' Guide" to Matlock, Bakewell, Chatsworth, Haddon Hall (1869). Designed for the Victorian visitor to Matlock Bath, Matlock and the surrounding area, this is a beautifully illustrated and informative little book

Bradbury, 1884
"All About Derbyshire" (1884) by Edward Bradbury. Bradbury became a journalist after working on the railway. His book is based on essays contributed at intervals to a number of journals and newspapers including "The Derbyshire Times".
Smaller Matlock Guides, some with Illustrations (shorter, interlinked, extracts)
Advertisements in Tourist Guides, transcripts
"A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe, 1724-6." Matlock [Bath] extract
"The Beauties of England and Wales" by John Britton and Edward Wedlake Brayley
Vol III (1802) Part 1. Matlock, Matlock Bath and Matlock Dale.
Lovely engraving of Matlock Bridge
"The Beauties of England and Wales" by John Britton and Edward Wedlake Brayley
Vol III (1802) Part 2. Cotton Manufacture, Willersley & Sir Richard Arkwright.
Lovely engraving of Willersley Castle
"The Gem of the Peak" by William Adam (Matlock Bath in 1840)
William Adam's book was published in several editions and described as being a guide of a very superior order. Here are part transcripts and part short extracts about Matlock and Matlock Bath
"The Matlock Tourist; and Guide through the Peak, embracing Matlock Bath, Haddon, Chatsworth and C", Henricus (1843) - The Museums. Extract includes description and image of the famous Blue John Vase executed by Mr. Vallance
"Holmes Hand Book to Matlock Bath & Neighbourhood, including Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Dovedale" (1866)
Matlock Bath, The History, The Water, Museums, Caverns, Museums, Churches, Willersley
"The Forty Shires" (1882) by Charlotte M Mason - A Short Quotation about Matlock

An engraving and quotation from an undated American guide can be found on:
   Matlock Bath, The River

The following may be of interest
Books and other publications
Images - more book scans

And an external link:
Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England (1831): Derby - Matlock section
Mel Lockie has transcribed all 4 volumes covering England, plus those for Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Other onsite transcripts with information about the Matlocks
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811 The Gentleman's Magazine Library