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Matlock Bath from the Temple House, 1810
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Cumming's Old Bath Hotel



Temple Hotel



The hand coloured engraving, with the title Matlock Bath from the Temple house, shows the Old Bath Hotel. On this particular image, unfortunately, it isn't easy to distinguish the oval stone commemorating the Old Bath's rebuilding by Smith & Pennel.

The Temple and the Old Bath were under joint ownership for some time. In 1800, so ten years before this engraving, the then proprietor placed an advertisement announcing:

"Old Bath & Temple.
J. LEEDHAM thankfully acknowledges the Patronage and Encouragement he has received from the Nobility and Gentry since his Entrance upon the above Houses, and very respectfully informs them that he has made an Addition of several good Lodging Rooms and private Parlours, a spacious new Dining-Room, and a Communication with the different Baths without being exposed to the open Air.
He hopes the various Alterations have rendered the Accommodations to the Visitants more convenient and comfortable; whose Approbation it will be his constant Endeavour to deserve.
2d June, 1800"[1].

However, in late 1806 the Old Bath and the Temple were advertised as being to let[a] and John Leedham moved to The Hotel (Museum Parade today), in the early spring of 1807[3]. Joseph Notzel Cumming became the proprietor of the Old Bath[4] and Eneas Evans took over the Temple[5].

After visiting Matlock Bath about 1824 Ebenezer Rhodes described, in his book "Peak Scenery"[6], the three inns that were in Matlock Bath at the time as excellent. He wrote:

"The principal one [hotel] is denominated the Old Bath, and it is a spacious building capable of affording accommodations to nearly one hundred visitors. At this inn there is an excellent assembly room, lighted with elegant glass chandeliers; and a hot and cold bath are included within the establishment".
... In addition to the inns, there are many comfortable lodging houses, the principal of which is kept by a Mrs. Evans, and known by the name of the Temple. ... It is connected to the Old Bath by a spacious terrace carried along the side of the hill, which forms a most delightful promenade".

Of the evening entertainment provided he wrote "we returned to the village of Matlock ... on our arrival we found the promenades deserted; the lights were glimmering through the trees, and the musicians at the Old Bath were tuning their instruments for the evening's assembly".


Engraving in the collection of, provided by, and © Ann Andrews
Information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links go to on site transcripts):

[1] "The Derby Mercury", 5 June 1800.
[2] "The Derby Mercury", Thursday, 11 September, 1806.
[3] Matlock and Matlock Bath: Public Notices and Announcements, 1807. John Leedham was already in financial difficulties in the latter months of his time at the Old Bath. These continued for a few years. See: Matlock & Matlock Bath Names in the London Gazette (1801 - 1840).
[4] "The Derby Mercury", Thursday, February 12, 1807.
[5] "The Derby Mercury", Thursday, 19 March, 1807.
[6] Rhodes, Ebenezer (1824) "Peak Scenery" pub. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row.