THE village of MATLOCK occupies a most romantic situation
in Derbyshire, in the neighbourhood of that stupendous pile
of rocks called the Torr, on the banks of the Derwent, which
is here a limpid stream wandering among broken fragments
of earth in a very fantastic manner, forming a scenery altogether
picturesque and delightful. The soil is, however, wild and
barren; but that for which this place is most celebrated,
is the unusual petrifying property of its warm springs, and
the vast masses of petrifactions that every where interrupt
their course, such as are not to be found in any other part
of the kingdom; these are manufactured for ornamental furniture,
into vases, obelisks, &c. and may be considered as a
staple commodity of the neighbourhood.
The medicinal virtues of the waters of MATLOCK were first
noticed about the year 1698, when a bath was built, and the
original possessor only erected a small suite of rooms for
the use of occasional bathers; since that period, however,
the town has rapidly continued to rise in celebrity, and
is now distinguished by every elegance of accommodation peculiar
to other places of a similar description, viz. public rooms,
a theatre, &c. The waters of MATLOCK are chiefly commended
both for drinking and bathing in all impurities of the blood,
relaxations, rheumatisms, want of appetite, and indigestion.
The company who resort here during the summer months are
more select than numerous, inasmuch as the place, on account
of its situation, is better suited to a contemplative than
a dissipated temper of mind.
Notwithstanding the sterility of the soil, the hills about
MATLOCK are much enriched with wood, which render the landscape
on every side beautiful. The town itself has a very singular
appearance from the houses being necessarily situated one
overlooking the other, on account of the irregularity of
the rocky surfaces on which they are erected, It is long
and straggling, and from the bridge to the bath near a mile;
its distance from London is about 142 miles, and from Derby
Whilst the engraving shows the northern side of the County
Bridge over the River Derwent at Matlock, the accompanying
text (transcribed above) is about to Matlock Bath.
The area around Matlock Bridge shows some early development
and St. Giles' Church is on the hillside.
Joseph Mallord William Turner's landscape painting,
"Matlock, 1794" is at the Indianapolis
Museum of Art, Indiana, USA.
complete works (an external link). The image seems to be
the wrong way round.