This is the first of two photographs of
Fountain Villas and Derwent Parade, taken in the 1870s; the
next image was taken just slightly later, as there
are minor differences. The two pictures must be
amongst the earliest ones taken of the village; prior to
that the images had been engravings.
We can arrive at an approximate date because the Derwent
Terrace Wesleyan Chapel, which is further along the Parade,
was built in 1867. The Jubilee Bridge, constructed in 1887,
is in neither photograph. So these views of Matlock Bath
were taken somewhere between the two dates - and the second
picture is easier to date.
The stone wall on the riverbank side of the road bounds
what was the first promenade, mentioned by Benjamin Bryan
as being open in 1874.
In 1873 a plan was prepared by Mr. Stokes of Darley
and the design was to be carried out by Mr. Smith, the Darley
nurseryman. It was to be on land opposite Derwent Parade,
running parallel with the river Derwent for about 300 yards,
where "visitors to this charming locality may saunter
and enjoy themselves without being subjected to the now inevitable
'sixpences' or 'shilling'".
Money was raised by public subscription and
the project was constructed independently of the Local
but there must have been some difficulties as in 1875 it
was not open.
By 1882 the Local Board were planning further work.
The wall was replaced by a much lower one when the Jubilee
Bridge was built and the Promenade developed and extended
The very low stone boundary wall, which was initially topped
by low metal railings, is shown clearly in other images on
this web site.
It is interesting to see the upturned rowing boats; they
are just about where the "Boats for Hire" sign
is on the following picture.