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Matlock Bath: New Bath Hotel Stereoview
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New Bath from Cat Tor

Engraving of Matlock Bath, from the Wild Cat Tor

The nineteenth century stereoview of the New Bath Hotel can't be dated exactly but will have been taken at some stage in the twenty plus years of management of the hotel by Ivatts and Jordan. Their names are in large letters on the front of the hotel. However, both this image and the next could have been taken before 1860.

In 1856 Messrs. Ivatts and Jordan announced that they had moved to the New Bath from the Royal Station Hotel, Hull[1]. They had relocated to the hotel some months before the announcement as Henry William Jordan was buried at Matlock Bath in the April[2]. So in the early years of their tenure the hotel was managed by Miss Mary Brown Ivatts and her niece Mrs. Emma Jordan (nee Leake), widow of Henry William[3]. Emma and Henry William had been married for only two years when he died[4]. Miss Ivatts died on 3 Oct 1863[5] and Mr. Ivatts became the Manager alongside Mrs. Jordan[6].

Francis White described the hotel in 1857 as being "situated on a plot of level ground, considerably elevated above the carriage road, with a verdant lawn in front, forming an excellent promenade [the Bath Terrace], and commanding the finest views of the picturesque scenery for which Matlock Bath stand unrivalled[7]". White mentioned the addition of a coffee room for ladies and gentlemen in the hotel's south wing. Interestingly, one of the windows in the stereoview on the ground floor is blank, presumably bricked up because of the Window Tax.


Amongst the hotel's illustrious visitors was John Ruskin, probably Britain's greatest ever art critic. He visited on a number of occasions but in 1871 it was reported that "We regret to hear that Mr. Ruskin has been lying dangerously ill at Matlock. He was, however, much better on Sunday, and is now, we are informed, quite out of danger"[8]. He was said to have experienced a physical and mental breakdown[9].

Matlock Bath was "especially dear to him from the enchanting character of its scenery" and he was at the New Bath again in 1883"[10].

According to Ruskin, the Peak District was "a lovely child's alphabet: an alluring first lesson in all that's admirable". Indeed, in 1884 it was said that when looking back to his past life he found, though not without surprise, that he owed more to Matlock than to Switzerland. "This little bit of mid-England in its very minuteness is the most educational of all the districts of beautiful landscapes known to me"[11].

The Emperor and Empress of the Brazils took a suite for an overnight stay at the New Bath Hotel in 1871 not long after Ruskin's departure. Derwent Parade was awash with flags and many people, including excursionists, lined the route from the station to the New Bath. Mr. Ivatts received the party and Mrs. Jordan showed them to their apartments. Seemingly, many in the neighbourhood sent contributions to decorate the hotel. There were rare vases and inlaid plates from Messrs. Buxton and Dakin, flowers from Mrs. Arkwright of Rock House and a unique vase belonging to Mrs. Wildgoose full of wild flowers. Mr and Mrs John Smedley presented them with signed copies of their books, John Clark sent a volume of his "Derbyshire Views" and T. A. Stanton composed a poem to mark the event[12].

In late 1876 the New Bath was advertised as being to let "from Lady-day next" (i.e. 24 March 1877)[13]. The Bench granted transfer of the license from Ivaats and Jordan to Thomas Tyack, formerly of Clayton-on-the Moors, Accrington, LAN in April 1877.[14]. Mr. Tyack was the hotel's manager until 1898. Emma Jordan had moved to Wakefield by 1881 and was living on an Income from Dividends whilst William Henry Ivatts had transferred to the Royal Hotel[15].

The front of the New Bath was to change considerably over the years, with the addition of painted stucco window mouldings instead of the hotel signs. A second portico was also added over the doorway behind the tree, although this has been removed.

Right hand side

Enlargement of right hand stereoview image.

The group of buildings in the distance, which included Win Tor on the far side of Saxton's Green, were demolished about 1930.

The Eighteenth Century: Statute Labour for Mending the Highways, 1761. Amongst the people listed was Isaac North, the first proprietor of the New Bath.
Lists 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 New Bath.
Famous 19thC People who Wrote About or Visited the Bath
Henry Moore (1818) "Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath", pp.27 - 32 provides a good description of the New Bath in the second decade of the nineteenth century
Ivatts and Jordan advertised the hotel in Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863.
Matlock & Matlock Bath: Inspiration of Poets - T. A. Staton wrote a poem to mark the Royal visit.

There is more about the New Bath Hotel

1 and 3. Stereoview from the collection of and © Ken Smith.
2. Image of Mr. Ruskin from Dalgleish, W. Scott, M.A., LL.D. (1900) "Great Authors, From Macauley to Browning", Thomas Nelson and Sons, London, Edinburgh and New York. © Ann Andrews collection.
Information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "The Derby Mercury", 9 July, 1856

[2] Holy Trinity Church Burials | MIs. Henry W Jordan was a nephew of Miss Ivatts. See Pre-1858 Wills info, Surnames J

[3] White's 1857 Directory | 1861 census | White's 1862 Directory | Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863 |

[4] Emma Leake and Henry William Jordan were married in Wakefield District in Q2 1854

[5] "The Derby Mercury", 9 Oct, 1863. Also see her Will info, Surnames J

[6] Kelly's 1864 Directory | 1871 census | Kelly's 1876 Directory

[7] White, Francis (1857) "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby ..." pub. Francis White & Co. Sheffield. See lists of names in the on site transcript.

[8] "Bury and Norwich Post", 18 July 1871. Illness of Mr. Ruskin.

[9] This information is from the "Dictionary of National Biography" which has an extremely long and highly informative account of his life, although only briefly mentions what happened in July 1871.

[10] "Derbyshire Times", 14 July 1883.

[11] "The Derby Mercury", 21 May 1884.

[12] "Derbyshire Times", 12 August 1871. Matlock Bath. Visit of Their Imperial Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Brazil. There were two trains full of excursionists in Matlock Bath on that day. Also see Matlock Bath: Station House and the Last Station Master, reference [6].

[13] A series of advertisements appeared in "The Derby Mercury", including one on 6 December, 1876 which gave the reason for Mrs. Jordan's departure as the expiration of her lease.

[14] Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 13 Apr 1877. Wirksworth Petty Sessions. Thomas Tyack leased both the hotel and some adjacent fields from Philip Hubbersty of Wirksworth, Esq, and Albert Cantrell Hubbersty of Ford - Derbyshire Record Office, ref. D5956/437/1 (1877). Towards the end of his time in the village he he ran both the New Bath and the Royal Hotel (see Bulmer's Directory, 1895.

[15] Mrs Jordan was at Strafford Square, Wakefield (RG11/4577 f37 p18 s100). She died on 27 Nov 1897; she had been living in Hornsey, MDX but died at Crouch End. Her death was reported in the "Morning Post" on 1 Dec 1897.
William Henry Ivatts was living at the Royal Hotel in 1881.