1. Riber Castle, North Front.
This image is from "Mrs. Smedley's Ladies Manual".
When John Smedley first lived at Riber it was for the benefit
of his health (see Riber
Hall engraving). He then decided to build his own property
and designed the Castle, beginning with the Lodge, his first residence.
He had bought land from George Allen of Riber Hall and later purchased
more land from others.
Each corner tower of the main building is 90 feet high.
It is typical of the man that he placed this remarkably self
indulgent structure in such an exposed position on the brow of
the hill and visible for many miles around.
The three images below are illustrations from "Smedley's
2. Riber Castle.
"800 feet above sea level, 600 feet above the River Derwent
at the foot of the hill".
The crenellations and turrets are reminiscent of a medieval fortress,
though the walls were not as thick and windows replaced the slits
(for archers to shoot arrows through) of medieval times. Smedley
could almost have been building for a monarch.
3. Riber Entrance Lodge.
4. "Riber Entrance Lodge.
The principal house intended to be erected here as an addition
to the Hydropathic Establishment not yet built. This Lodge is about
620 feet above the river Derwent, and was built and occupied in
four months and a half, February to 1st July, 1863".
and engraving were also published in the 10th edition (1869) of
The Riber Entrance Lodge is on the Tansley side of the castle,
overlooking the quarry area. Part of it is still standing (2016)
and can be seen from the footpath; the present developers, who
are also restoring the castle, are trying to bringing it back
to how it looked in the illustration. After the Smedley's had
moved to the Castle this lodge became the coach house and coachman's
abode, amongst other things.
In the 1881 census it would
have been the home of George Merchant. Ten years later, in the
1891 census, Henry Taylor was there and was still
in residence in 1901.
There is another lodge, at the cross roads of Riber Road / Carr
Lane, where Smedley said the second preface to his book was written
in January 1863 (Practical Hydropathy,
1869, p.13). It is shown on the right of the complex in image
Other buildings in the Matlocks with decorative crenellations,
mostly pre-Victorian structures.