A wonderfully clear photograph of the riverbank at Matlock
Bath, which dates from about 1880, shows the land where
the Derwent Gardens is today. Beyond the trees was a bank
of tufa, approximately at the bottom of Clifton Road. It
looks as if they had just begun to quarry this out; the
clump of rocks amongst the trees also looks like tufa and
there may even be some steps in the rock.
On the opposite bank is the
Lovers' Walks and the zigzag pathway that climbs up to
the top of the hill is clearly visible. Cat Tor is a few
yards beyond the path.
What the gentleman resplendent in the frock coat, who is
wearing a top hat, boots and riding breeches, is doing is
unclear. He's not fishing but seems to be studying something.
The land seems to have belonged to Major John F. Wieland,
who owned the Royal Hotel, as in 1886 the local board discussed
acquiring the Orchard Holme Field from him for the purpose
of the removal and deposit of ashes.
A a meeting seven months later it was said that "the Orchard
Holme could be had for very little money".
Only two years later the Switchback Railway was built on the
More about the Derwent Gardens