Guides Index> "Picturesque Excursions"> This page
"Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath"*
Eighteenth and nineteenth century tour guides about Matlock Bath and Matlock
 
by Henry Moore
pp.32 - 36, with etching of "View Opposite the Museum"

View opposite the Museum
"Picturesque Excursions"
Next Page
Previous Page
Also see
About Matlock
About Matlock Bath
Find a Name
Below the Old Bath, and in a direction opposite to it, the river may be crossed by a boat to the Lovers' Walks, a most charming retreat, highly deserving to be distinguished by such art appellation, There is also a walk on this side


[footnote at the bottom of page 32 is on previous page]

the river, among some trees, that affords some pretty close scenes, a lofty craggy rock being occasionally seen through the trees. Near the place of landing, on the other side the water, is an alcove and a spar shop. A walk of considerable extent winds along the margin of the river, which is sometimes so completely embowered with trees, as scarcely to admit a glimpse of the stream: at others, a fine promontory of grey rock is seen through the opening branches, and the path is gradually lost in the wood. A small cascade is also seen falling into the dark river, which is a pleasing object; and the old alcove, a Gothick arch of rude stones, patched with moss, and over-grown with weeds, is become naturalised to the scene. This walk is terminated up the river by an abrupt rock, down which hang the pendulous branches of trees, that clothe the upper part of it, waving with the gentlest breezes that sweep the dale. The High Tor is here seen profile-ways, and harmonizes well with the rest of the scenery.

The other extremity of this walk is bounded by a fence wall, which separates it from Mr. Arkwright's private walks. Near, is a small cavern, festooned with ivy, and overhung with trees; it is a romantic little scrap. From this walk others are seen branching off, that wind up the steep acclivity, among innumerable trees, and Iead under impending crags of grey limestone curiously veined with chert, and decorated with creeping ivy, and large-trees nodding on their summits: the path still winds, until we finally reach the top of the cliffs, where a powerful contrast is suddenly produced, by the appearance of fine fields of grass that gently slope from the very edge of the precipice. The High Tor now appears a prominent object in the scene, having a very different appearance to any object in the valley. The whole line of the back part of the eminence is seen declining from the edge of the rocks, the ground is strewed over with the refuse of mines, and its aspect altogether is extremely rugged. The road, the river, and the woods, with a stretch of distance, form a fine view. Keeping along the edge of the precipice, which is skirted with large trees, several fine peeps down into the valley are obtained, from different bold promontories; another path will also be found, by which the steep may be descended by a different rout. The day being uncommonly fine, many parties were attracted to this place by the refreshing coolness of these retired shades, which gave a pleasing animation to the scene.

" Welcome ! ye shades, ye bowery thickets ; hail !
Ye lofty pines, ye venerable oaks !
Ye ashes, wild, resounding o'er the steep t
Delicious is your shelter to the soul."

Some take a boat, to view the fine scenery from the river, where some happy combinations of wood, rock and water occur: others leisurely wander on the margin of the river: whilst some, toiling up the paths of the steep acclivity, are met by others swiftly descending. The females seem to skip along the trees like sylphs, and now are lost in the thickets, there at a turn they suddenly emerge again, their white drapery waving in the wind as they flit along, give an enchanted air to this sylvan retreat. Here imagination might still linger with delight, did not the powerful attraction of other beauties claim some attention; and powerful as those attractions are, yet we cannot quit this most enchanting place without reluctance. Following the road a little way we come to a handsome range of buildings, consisting of lodging houses, a good travellers' inn, and the Museum, of which Mr. Mawe, the mineralogist, is the proprietor. It consists of fluor spar, and marble ornaments, that are peculiar to Derbyshire: also minerals and shells of every description. It will prove a fine treat to the curious, and a most agreeable lounge: the room is spacious and the admission free. The tasteful forms of the vases and candlelabria, prove that the proprietor has studied the antique; whilst the workmanship bears the stamp of superiority. The amathystine fluor is the gem of the county, I may even say the gem of the world, for it is procured from only one mine, which is situated in a mountain at Castleton. It has long been much admired


View Opposite the Museum
Drawn and Etched by H. Moore
This is opposite page 36 in his guide
[Etching opposite page 36 - note the Cascade on the right]


by foreigners, who have eagerly sought it, and in their writings pronounced it to he the most beautiful production of the mineral kingdom. Indeed the choice specimens of it that are here exhibited, verify what they have advanced in its praise ; and, as it is now become rare, the nobility of this kingdom begin to appreciate its importance as a gem; it therefore finds the way into their most splendid apartments, and their cabinets. It is also selected for presents to their foreign friends : nor could they select, from the productions of this country , any thing that is so highly esteemed by strangers. The various elegant ornaments, &c. of black marble, display considerable taste and skill in their execution; it bears a very high polish, and is enriched in a peculiarly embossed manner with figures, arabesque, and other ornaments. The black marble is procured from his Grace the Duke of Devonshire's Derbyshire estate, near Ashford. There are many other articles in this museum that are very interesting, but to enumerate all or them would too much extend the size of this publication.
[Page 36 continues]


*Transcribed by Ann Andrews in March 2004 from:
"Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath, and its Vicinity ; Being a Descriptive Guide to the Most Interesting Scenery and Curiosities in that Romantic District, With Observations Thereon", by Henry Moore (1818), published by H. Moore, Drawing Master; Printed by T. Wilkinson, Ridgefield, Manchester.
Reproduced here with the very kind permission and help of Jane Steer, whose book this is from.
OCRed and images scanned by Ann Andrews.