ROUND MATLOCK, NOT EXCEEDING THE DISTANCE OF ONE POST.
Presented to the cultured eye of taste,
No rock is barren, and no field is waste.
THE village of Matlock, as already stated, is distant about two
miles; it contains the parish church, which is generally attended
by visitants resident at the Bath. For the convenience of those
who choose to go on foot, the road is shortened by crossing the
river at the boat-house; and a path continues from the village
over the High Tor, by a hamlet called Starkholm, to Cromford. The
scenery is very romantic, and the walk is rendered more inviting
and salubrious by a fresh breeze, which is always found to blow
on this elevated spot.
IT is only a short mile from Matlock Bath
to Cromford, where the road divides, one branch leading to Derby,
another to Wirksworth, a third (called the Via Gellia*)
to Grange Mill, Pike Hall, and Buxton; or to Brassington, Hopton
Hall, and Ashbourn. The other road leads to the wharf; also to
a branch canal at the village of Lea, Crich, Alfreton, and Wingfield;
and to the beautiful grounds and mansion of Mr. Arkwright.
THIS gentleman liberally permits his gardens and grounds to be
shewn to visitors two days in the week, and also allows the company
at Matlock the daily privilege of frequenting the walks on the
opposite side of the river, which are his own private property.
These walks are delightfully shaded by full-grown trees: you are
conducted to them by the boatman, Mr. W. Walker, who ferries you
across, and who, for a trivial remuneration, will row you up and
down the stream. Mr. Walker is the proprietor of a good lodging
house near the New Bath.
[footnote on page 21]
* A Ravine of considerable extent, equally interesting to the geologist
To Chatsworth from Matlock is a delightful ride of only nine miles.
This magnificent chateau has been so frequently the theme of topographers
and tourists, whose elaborate descriptions are freshly remembered,
that any detail of that nature would in this place appear superfluous,
if not impertinent. I may be allowed, however, to remark, that
the enlargements recently undertaken are on a very grand scale,
and that the noble proprietor has enriched the interior with some
of the finest works of Canova, and other celebrated sculptors.
The grounds, and especially the beautiful water-works, are justly
the admiration of strangers.
THE house is shewn to visitors, and the company is most respectfully
attended to by Mrs Gregory, the housekeeper.
FROM Matlock Bath, through Cromford*, to the market town of Wirksworth,
the distance is three miles, up a tremendous mountain ; but the
traveller finds his toil repaid, by the mining scenery which continues
all the way after he has reached the summit.
WlRKSWORTH is a town of considerable population and trade: here
is the bank of Messrs. Arkwright, who correspond with Messrs. Smith,
Payne, and Smiths, of London.
BAKEWELL, is situated at the distance of ten miles from Matlock
Bath, on the way to Buxton. After crossing the Derwent at Matlock
Bridge, the road passes close to the Moat Hall mine, and through
the delightful valley called Darley Dale, to Rowsley, leaving the
[footnote on page 23]
*The popuIous village of Cromford, one short mile from Matlock Bath,
has a good market on Saturdays, numerous shops, and a good Inn, below
which are the cotton mills and wharf. It has also a church, where
duty is performed by the Rev. Mr. Ward.
mantic village of Toad Hole on the right; at a short distance from
which a road branches to Chatsworth. After crossing the Derwent
at Rowsley, you soon arrive at the lovely streamlet, the Wye, which
washes the base of the venerable baronial structure called HADDON
HALL, which well deserves the attention of the antiquary, as the
reader of romance: it is shewn to visitors.
THE Wye, meandering through Bakewell meadow, animates and gladdens
the prospect, which is bounded in front by the town or Bakewell,
and on each side by the mountains.
To the Geologist, a ride from the foot of Matlock Bridge, up Salter's
Lane, and through the village of Bonsall, will prove extremely
interesting, as the toadstone alternates with the limestone, which
appears in great variety, especially at tile Seven Rake mine. The
excursion may be varied by taking another direction through SNITTERTON,
WENSLEY, ALLPORT, and YOULGRAVE, villages which forty or fifty
years ago were thickly inhabited by miners. At that period Wirksworth,
and this part of the Peak, were considered the greatest mining
districts for lead ore in Europe.
THOSE who are interested in contemplating wild and Alpine scenery,
I would strongly advise to visit ASHOVER, distinguished as the
seat of my friend the late Sir Joseph Banks, P.R.S. Near a century
ago, this place could boast a mine which produced more lead in
ten years, than any other in the country. The lofty mountains,
deep ravines, and beautiful plains, in its vicinity, render Ashover
extremely picturesque This village is five miles from Matlock.
CHESTERFlELD is one stage (ten miles) distant from Matlock, and
the road is certainly one of the most mountainous in the kingdom,
lofty hills and deep valleys alternating throughout its whole extent.
IN the intervals that occur between excursions to these and other
places in the vicinity, it is the fashion at Matlock to occupy
some time in collecting minerals; and, as every little shop sells
curiosities, I successively looked into all, and picked up a variety
of specimens, some of which were tolerably good.
BUT, as Mineralogy is so much cultivated, I apprehended that I
might be censurable either for want of taste for, or indifference
to, that important science, if I forbore to profit by the occasion
for improvement now presented to me. All who have devoted any attention
to the pursuit, will allow that there is a secret pleasure in collecting
for one's self, because it improves the power of discrimination,
while it strengthens the judgment: and I am bound again to acknowledge
my obligations to the Museum for the instruction and information
I found there, and which induced me to prolong my stay at Matlock,
for the purpose of augmenting my store of mineralogical knowledge.
FROM Matlock to the enchanting scenery of Dove Dale, you have
to travel over about thirteen miles of wild, country, and, if you
please, through tile village of Tissington, near the seat of the
worthy Sir Henry Fitzherbert. At this village are several small
springs of excellent water.
THE ancient custom of dressing tile wells with emblems made of
flowers, on Holy Thursday in each year, is still annually practised,
and the ceremony is accompanied with prayers, after divine service,
by the minister of the established church; though the usage is
said to be of Romish origin. It may not on that account be tinctured
with superstition, since an acknowledgment of the Divine goodness
for the blessing of pure water is surely as rational an act of
worship as thanksgiving after harvest. Numerous visitors attend
to witness this interesting rite, and to enjoy the rustic festivities
or wakes which are held on the occasion.
AFTER proceeding about two miles, you enter
the valley of the Dove at the southern end, and walk through it,
near Ilam Hall, the beautiful residence of Watts Russell, Esq.
four miles from Ashbourn.
THE river Dove* is a beautiful and rapid stream, bounded by romantic
rocks; which in the autumnal season are clothed with richly varied
foliage. The rocks
[footnote on page 28]
*The following description of this river, given in the second part
of the "Complete AngIer," and written by Charles Cotton,
the friend and associate of Walton, will be remembered with delight
by all amateurs of that "contemplative recreation."
" The river Dove, which divides the two counties of Derby and
Stafford for many miles together, is so called from the swiftness
of its current; and that swiftness is occasioned by the declivity
of its course, and by being so straitened in that course between the
rocks, by which, and those very high ones, it is hereabout for four
or five miles confined into a very narrow stream; a river that, from
a contemptible fountain, which I can cover with my hat, by the confluence
of other rivulets, brooks, and rills, is swelled, before it falls
into the Trent a little below Eggington, where it loses its name,
to such a breadth and depth, as to be inmost places navigable, were
not the passage frequently interrupted with fords and wears,
and has as fertile banks as any river in England, none accepted.
And this river, from its head, for a mile or two, is a black water
as all the rest of the Derbyshire rivers of note originally are, for
[ continues on bottom of page 29]
called Dove Dale Church, Reynard's Cave, and Thorp's Cloud, are particularly
worthy of notice.
FOR a detailed description of Dove Dale, the reader is referred
to Rhodes's Peak Scenery, and to the views in the quarto edition
of that work, which are from the pencil of the celebrated Chantrey,
a native of this county, who, in his successful cultivation of
sculpture, has not neglected the sister art, See Edwards's poem, " The
Tour of the Dove."
KEDLESTON HALL, distant from Matlock thirteen miles, the mansion
of the Earl of Scarsdale, an elegant modern built structure, is
at all times shewn to visitors. The grounds, the house, and its
interior decorations, rank among the finest in the kingdom.
[footnote on page 29 - continued from page 28]
spring from the mosses; but is in a few miles of travel so clarified
by the addition of several clear and very great springs, bigger than
itself, which gush out of the limestone rocks, that before it has
run seven miles of its course, you will find it one of the purest
crystalline streams you have seen."
WITHlN the park is a mineral spring of the sulphurous kind, whose
waters resemble those of Harrogate, and are much esteemed for their
antiscorbutic qualities. For the convenience of those strangers who
might wish to use the contIguous bath, a handsome inn was erected
by the late Lord Scarsdale, which is four miles from Derby.
THE entrance to the park is by an avenue of venerable oaks, from
whence the road passes over an elegant stone bridge, of three arches,
to the mansion, celebrated for the classic elegance of its architecture,
particularly that of the hall and saloon.
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