The photograph of Warm Wells hung on the chimney wall in the
Standard 1 / Standard 2 classroom at Holy Trinity School
in Matlock Bath for many years;
the toll house wasn't all that far from the school. Of
the three approaches to the New Bath, Warm Wells was on
the middle one that joined Derby Road next to what was
a roadside bar in the early and mid twentieth century.
As with all toll houses, the building protruded forward
into the roadway. There were windows on several sides
to provide good visibility so the toll keeper could see
approaching carriages and carts. The road leaving the gate,
towards the camera, becomes wider.
There are photographs
or postcards displayed in the window and an external picture
frame contains even more pictures. On the right front is
also a large signboard which perhaps advertised the toll
charges, although that is speculation on the web mistress's
part as the board is not facing the camera. It could equally
have been advertising the petrifying well that was close
To the modern eye this may seem an odd place for the toll
house to be situated but it was built beside the old road
through the village. It was described in several nineteenth
century tour guides,
although they are easy to misinterpret and others have concluded
this building was at the bottom of the Wapping.
However, this was not the case.
The buildings immediately behind the toll house were opposite
Matlock Bath School, behind the bakery, petrifying well and
the bus stop.
There were steps down so pupils who lived either Clifton
Road, as the web mistress did for some years, would use them
as a short cut until they became too dangerous. Before they
were demolished these buildings had
been home to the Concert family and to relatives of the Hoylands
in the 1940s.
On my large size photograph the New Bath Hotel is unmistakable
at the top of the road. Whilst the toll bar and, later, the
other buildings may have been demolished the two pillars
of the toll's gateway were kept and have been moved to outside
the New Bath Hotel.