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Engraving of High Tor Tunnel, Matlock Bath
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The Railways of Derbyshire, 1903
(Old Maps of Derbyshire)

Mrs. Smedley's Ladies Manual

Caroline Smedley

There are several early engravings of the entrance to the six hundred yard long High Tor Tunnel, a major piece of railway engineering. The line to Matlock was opened in 1849 and the coming of the railway was to have a major impact on both Matlock Bath and Matlock. Matlock developed as a hydropathy centre whilst the type of visitor to the village of Matlock Bath changed considerably. Day trippers from larger towns and cities eventually replaced those who had come for the water cure of Matlock Bath and stayed in the village's hotels.

Here we see a train approaching Matlock Bath station on the down line. The railway station buildings are slightly different from those shown in either the Rock & Co. engraving of 1862 or the vignette engraving of High Tor Tunnel from "Bemroses' Guide" of 1869 (scroll down to the bottom of the page). The structure in this image, first published in John Smedley's Practical Hydropathy of 1857, does not have the distinctive overhanging eaves shown on later illustrations or photographs.

This image shows us a very still River Derwent, with Dale Road on the opposite riverbank from the station. The artist has placed what was then the vicarage house on the same level as the road whereas the building is actually slightly above the road.

View even more about the station by clicking on the images below:


19C stereoview1

19C stereoview2


About 1906



Station House

Today, image3

The above 19th century engraving has been taken from:
Smedley, Mrs. (1878/9) "Ladies' Manual of Practical Hydropathy (Not the Cold Water System), 16th ed.", James Blackwood & Co., Lovell's Court, Paternoster Row, London, p.159
By the time this edition was published Mr. John Smedley, Mrs. Smedley's husband, had been dead for some years and the business had been taken over by Smedley's Hydropathic Company (Limited)
Caroline Anne Smedley wrote in her preface:
"After reading many works on hydropathy in conjunction with my husband, I consider that they are written too scientifically for Ladies who have not studied Medical and Anatomical Works, and who are therefore ignorant of the many terms made use of only in such works, and which are not at all necessary to be known by the generalities of our sex in the ordinary duties of life. This little Manual will therefore be entirely free from such terms ... "
This book is in the collection of, the information is provided by and images scanned by and © Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only
The engraving was also published in Smedley's "Practical Hydropathy"