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Matlock Bridge & Bank, early 1890s. With Bridge House (Hall)
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Matlock Bridge - and the Bank - about 1890
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A few years later

About 10 years later

Matlock Bank, about 1906

The Clarence, Matlock Bath

Bemroses' Guide, 1869 shows Bridge House & Smedleys

Another late nineteenth century photograph of Matlock Bridge and Bank. The picture was probably taken to publish as a postcard and was taken between 1892 and 1896.

Two things stand out, the first being the excellent view of an unaltered Bridge House (Bridge Hall Hydro) embowered in trees and with a formal garden at its front. This building was later extended and became Matlock's Town Hall. The second point of interest, which dates it a little later than Gertie's postcard (the previous image) - though probably by not much more than a few of years - is that a house at the corner of Lime Grove Walk and New Street was being built. It is not even started on the previous picture.

There also appears to be a line of small trees on the opposite side of the road from the partly built property - presumably these were the limes that gave Lime Grove Walk its name. They are not on the previous image. Up on the hill above Smedley's Hydro smoke is rising from the chimney of the tram's Rutland Street depôt.

Bridge House was a hydro for over 33 years and is first mentioned as such in 1861 when it was run by Dr. Josiah Cash[1]. Dr. Cash of Leamington married the youngest daughter of Dr. John Adams of Bridge House in 1851[2]. By the mid 1850s the Drs. Adams and Cash were working together and both families were living at Bridge House[3]. After his father in law's death in 1863 Josiah continued his work at Bridge House and was also the physician for the Rowlands at Matlock House Hydro[4]. Josiah died in Matlock on 19 October 1877 and was buried at St. Giles' on 23 October. His widow then moved to Buxton[5].

Bridge Hall Hydro. Detail from an albumen print.

The Reverend Richard Nicholson, an Independent Minister, took over, changing the name Bridge House to Bridge Hall[6]. By 1891 he was also running the Clarence in Matlock Bath but unfortunately he had some financial difficulties[7]. In June 1894 both Clarence House Hydropathic Establishment and Bridge Hall were offered for sale at Matlock Bath Assembly Room by the auctioneer Joseph Hodgkinson.The Clarence did not sell but Bridge Hall was bought by Mr. William Wright of Matlock for £1,750[8]. A few months later Matlock Local Board were seeking a loan for various improvements. Major alterations were planned including fitting new fireplaces and providing useful office space; they also had to, for example, provide accommodation for a caretaker. The stabling at the back of the property was to be converted for use by the fire brigade and was to have stabling for three horses, a harness room, a fire engine house for one manual fire engine and storage for corn (for the horses). It was said that the Council thought they had splendid bargain[9].

There are other enlargements of sections of the main image. See:

Smedley's, 1890s

Bank House &
Church View Hydro

(Dalefield) Hydro

1. [Matlock Bank] From the collection of, kindly provided for this website by and © Ray Ash.
2. Enlargement of Bridge House/Hall from an albumen print "Matlock Bank and Matlock Bridge", No.3903 by G.W.W. © Susan Tomlinson collection.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] There are various references to the hydro from 1861 onwards: Newspaper advertisement for his hydro, 1861 | Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863 | Kelly's 1864 Directory | Kelly's 1876 Directory. He contributed to the Patriotic Fund in 1854.

[2] "Derbyshire Courier", 3 May 1851. They were married at Tansley on 24th April. The Adams family were at Bridge House in the 1851 census.

[3] Adams & Cash were shown together in White's1857 Directory and in the 1861 census. They were still Adams & Cash in White's 1862 Directory. Dr. Adams was buried at Tansley on 21 Mar 1863.

[4] They were there in the 1871 census. Also see Matlock House Hydropathic Establishment Advertisement, 1888.
[5] Wills Calendar, C and Strays, Surnames C.

[6] Reverend Nicholson can be found in the 1881 census | | Kelly's 1887 Directory | the 1891 census Kelly's 1891 Directory, Matlock Bridge.

[7] In 1891 (see Kelly's 1891 Directory, Matlock Bath) he was running the Clarence. His financial problems meant he was listed in the London Gazette - see London Gazette entries for 1894/5.

[8] "Derbyshire Times", 30 June 1894. Property Sale at Matlock Bath. It is not clear if Mr. Wright bought Bridge Hall for the Council, but it seems likely.

[9] "Derbyshire Times", 17 November 1894. The New Local Government Buildings for Matlock. Official Inquiry Inspector.