A card advertising Cumming's Old Bath Hotel, dating from the 1840's.
The hotel was on what is today Temple Road. Interestingly, the
obelisk at the junction with the main road seems to indicate
that it was at the entrance to the hotel's drive. This was where
the likes of Lord Byron and Walter Scott stayed when they visited
Matlock Bath to take the waters. The card was found in old family
documents. David Bates, whose card this is, says that 'the note
on the card must have been written by my father's father or one
of my grandfather's first cousins'. We think the card dates from
between 1840, when the station opened at Ambergate, and 1842, when
Mrs. Cumming died. The conveyances on offer include a Phæton,
a light four wheeled open carriage that is usually drawn by a pair
Richard Ward described the Old Bath in his "Guide" of
"A few hundred yards further northwards [from the New Bath and
Mr. Walker's lodging house] the other Principal Hotel, called
the Old Bath, kept by Mrs. Cumming; this house is of great extent,
affording convenient accommodation to about one hundred persons.
Besides a copious spring and a hot as well as a cold bath, here is
a large assembly room; and during the season, which begins in spring
and continues till November, assemblies are held in it, chiefly on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A billiard table is kept both here
and at the New Bath. There is likewise in the front of this house
a level green and promenade of considerable extent, commanding a
very interesting view, not only of the opposite rocks, the great
ornament of Matlock [Bath], but also of a bold and high hill which
advancing from the western mountainous country towards the river,
seems here to shut out the valley".
The Old Bath, later the Royal Old Bath Hotel, was eventually demolished
and replaced by the Royal Hotel.
There is more on site information about the Cumming family:
Biographies: see Cumming
Matlock & Matlock
Bath Public Notices & Announcements, 1820 and 1860
of the Peak (1840)
See J N Cumming's name in Nineteenth
Century - Game Duty Lists
Derby Directory, 1823
Taverns & Pubs,
3 early trade directory extracts
1858 Wills & Administrations in various UK archives, Surnames C
Matlock & Matlock
Bath Names in the London Gazette See William John Cumming in 1843 and
Alice Ann Cumming in 1853.
The Old Bath was a venue for property sales in the 18th
century and a place where officials met in the 19th
century. It was sold in 1857 and
in 1869 the Hydropathic Company
was wound up.
There is more about the opening up of the railway
Bath Station and High Tor
Through the Centuries: Arrivals at Matlock Bath, 1820-1850.
European Royal families and nobility, British politicians, academics,
clergy, members of the British aristocracy and upper and middle
classes of society. Some of them would have stayed at the Old Bath.
 Ward, Reverend Richard (1814) "The
Matlock, Buxton and Castleton Guide, containing concise accounts
of these and other remarkable places ... in the ... County of