Matlock Bank and Matlock Bridge were two separate entities
in the 1890s, divided by fields. Whilst the river is hidden
from view, the original football stand can be seen on the
Hall Leys; this was the site where the local team played
for a long time before transferring to their present grounds.
Some of Dale Road, or Dale Crescent as it was sometimes
called, was relatively newly built in this picture. In 1887
what were described as "valuable building lots, situate
between the Old English Hotel and Brown's Temperance Hotel,
Matlock Bridge", were offered for sale at the Old English
Hotel by the auctioneers Messrs. Else and Son. The plots
were bought by Mr. S. Brown, Mr. W. Moore, two members of
the Kirkland family, a Mr J. Taylor and John Taylor (possibly
same man), A. Bridge and G. Bunting.
Shops were then build from the corner of Old Englishe Road
to almost Brown's Hotel - so a large portion of the parade
of shops between what became Hunter's to relatively close
to the railway bridge.
The houses on the left hand side of Dale Road that back
on to Holt Lane were built in the early 1880s.
The Old English Hotel is of particular interest in this
picture. The hotel had been built in 1880; it was four storeys
high and had many decorative external features including
towers and turrets, supposedly in the Elizabethan style.
In 1883 Mrs. Catherine Mattocks applied to transfer the license
for the Old English from Joshua Wortley to herself and a
temporary grant was made.
Unfortunately, on 7 November 1884 disaster struck when fire
broke out on the third floor of the hotel in the early hours
of the morning. Mrs. White of Holt Lane and a Mr. Elliott
were the first on the scene and managed to rouse all the
Mattocks family. The staff then evacuated the guests and
many items of furniture, including two pianos, were saved.
The nearest fire engine was at Masson Mill, some two miles
away! Unfortunately, despite valiant efforts of the fire
fighters, the local police and neighbours, the roof caught
fire. The Derby fire brigade was also sent for and they arrived
at 8a.m. The interior of the building was burnt out apart
from the vaults on the northern side.
The Derbyshire Courier reported that the tower was destroyed,
slates gave way, the roof fell in and the framework of one
of the windows crashed into the street; bare walls only remained.
Almost nobody was injured although the confectioner Mr. W.
H. Moore burnt his hands quite badly; he had noticed showers
of sparks falling upon part of his premises where he had
hay stored and seems to have put out the flames there single
the fire was raging three local men attempted to make off with
one of the barrels so they could consume the contents, and
were hauled before the magistrates.
Whilst the enlarged section of the picture isn't clear,
the ruins of the burnt out section
can be seen behind the restored and rebuilt hotel.
In January the following year a number of men were removing
the debris and found molten gold and silver, including a
gold watch. It was said at the time that arrangements had
been made for rebuilding, and a similar structure to the
one erected in 1880 was to be built.
Mrs. Mattocks needed to apply to
renew the hotel's license in September. The property
had still not been rebuilt or restored and it was said
that the premises were totally unfit for the class
of business for which the license was originally granted.
Mrs. Mattocks told the court that it was intended to
spend about £3,000 on the
erection of the new building, which would contain seventeen
bedrooms, and all other requirements for a first class
commercial and family hotel. The Council agreed to
renew the license on the distinct understanding that
the new portions of the building were proceeded with
as quickly as possible.
The work on the hotel was carried our between the
license being granted and the land on Dale Road being
sold; there is a picture of the restored Old English
but with the land on the opposite corner undeveloped,
dating from about 1887, in David Barton's book about
All the images of the hotel after the fire show the Old
English was reconstructed with only three floors instead
of four and with alterations to the dormers and other
features on the Old Englishe Road side of the building.
At the rear of the hotel is a large bay window, also
part of the original structure.
links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this
 "Derbyshire Times",
20 August 1887.
 "Derby Mercury",
18 Jul 1883. This was before Mr. J. W. Skidmore, solicitor.
The Mattocks family were already living in Matlock Bridge
census was taken. They had been in Matlock Bridge since
at least 1864 at Mr. Mattocks advertised in Kelly's
The family were also shown in the
1871 census and Mr. Mattocks was also included in Kelly's
 "Derby Mercury",
Wednesday, 12 November, 1884 (Great Fire at Matlock Bridge).
This was just one of many newspaper reports.
Courier, 15 November 1884 (Destruction of the Old English
Hotel. Damage £12,000). The paper described it as "one of
the most serious fires that has ever occurred in North Derbyshire".
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
16 January 1885. Matlock Police Court, before Mr. Sleigh,
Mr. Arkwright and Mr. Sorby.
 "Derbyshire Courier",
19 September 1885.
 Barton, David A. : Collected
by (1993) "Around Matlock in Old Photographs",
Alan Sutton Publishing, Stroud. ISBN 0-7509-0502-6.