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Matlock: Cavendish Road, Claremont and Mr. Rowland
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Claremont was built for Chrles Rowland, the man who built Rockside
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Rockside Hydro

Rockside Hydro 1903

Rockside Hydro 1908

Rockside Hydro 1925-45

Rockside, the Former Matlock Hydro

Rockside Hall of Residence

Matlock House, 1888

Matlock House Hydro,
Early Twentieth Century

Bank Road and the Steep-Gradient Tramway

Claremont is a stone built Victorian mansion on Matlock's Cavendish Road and was constructed for Charles Rowland and his wife opposite the grounds to Rockside. Mr. Rowland had built Rockside Hydro in 1860 and became a man of some standing in Matlock.

Charles Rowland was born in Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Rowland, and he was baptised there on 28 November 1813. He lived at Burton Upon Trent until he was about 49 years of age and was a Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer, working from premises on the High Street[1][2]. In 1861 he and his wife Sarah were living at Shobnall, Burton Upon Trent and Charles described himself in the census as a "Retired Upholster"; their property was made up of four buildings[3]. The couple moved to Matlock shortly afterwards. A newspaper article from 1880, when Mr. and Miss Atkins took Rockside over, said that the Rowlands had formerly run Graffern House Hydropathic Establishment, near Derby[4].

Rockside was well established by 1871 and Charles was living at the establishment, with his occupation given as a Professor of Hydropathy and Land Owner[5]. Sarah, who was born at Coton in the Elms, was living separately slightly down the hill as she was managing Matlock House Establishment which they had leased; she, too, stated that she was a Professor of Hydropathy and Land Owner[5].

Just like the other Matlock hydropathists, the Rowlands advertised in several Trades Directories and Tourist Guides[6]. Their first advertisement seems to have appeared in 1862[7]. By 1876 Charles Rowland was only advertising his hydropathic establishment at Matlock House[8] as James Burton had taken over at Rockside, although the Rowlands maintained a keen interest in hydropathy. Rockside remained in the family as James Burton married Sarah's niece, Emily Elizabeth Atkins, in 1873 but Emily unfortunately died in 1875. William Atkins and his sister followed on at Rockside[4] and in 1881 it was described as a hydropathic establishment of the first class[9]. "Rock Side, with its long corridors, enclosed verandah or promenade, and spacious dining hall, is one of the best and comfortably arranged establishments of its kind to be found anywhere"[4].

Charles and Sarah had moved into Claremont, a property shown to have 12 rooms in 1911, some time before 1881[9] and it remained their home until they died. Sarah died in February 1901 and Charles died on 9th March 1902[10]. Both are buried in the churchyard of St. Giles Church and Charles Rowland's second wife is in the same grave[11]. Charles, at the sprightly age of 88, married Eliza Buxton at All Saints' in September 1901[12]. Eliza had worked for the Rowland's as their housekeeper for over 10 years. She was at Claremont in 1911 with a Sheffield born companion[13] and passed away there on 27 August 1914.

Hydropathy wasn't Charles Rowland's only business interest in Matlock as he clearly invested in the cable tramway that connected Crown Square with Smedley Street and Rutland Street. He became one of the director's of the limited company that was formed. Interestingly, one of the executors of Charles Rowland's will was Job Smith, one of his fellow directors. After he had died, some of his estate was advertised for sale by Else and Sons, the auctioneers. The lots on offer "were dwelling houses and shops in Bank Road, villa residences and cottages in Oak Road and market gardens with outbuildings at Pope Car[14].

Claremont was bought by of the Sheffield Works Societies' Convalescent Association in 1918[15] and was to be used as a home solely for women[16]. It was purchased because of the success of the Society's established male Convalescent Home at Starkholmes. The Association launched an appeal for £10,000 to finance their venture and hoped to treat 600 patients each year[15]. The property was enlarged and updated; it was opened for convalescents in 1919 by Mrs. Arthur Balfour[16]. In 1928 the matron was Miss M. H. Cotter[17].

Matlock House & Rockside Hydro advertisement, 1869, in Bemroses' Guide

"Claremont, Matlock". No. 2. Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this website):

[1] 1841 and 1851 census returns for England and Wales.

[2] Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Derbys, Dorset ..., 1842, p.13 and History, Gazetteer & Directory of Staffordshire, 1851

[3] 1861 census of England and Wales. He announced that he had sold his business in "The Derby Mercury" of 19 January 1859.

[4] "Derbyshire Times", 6 November 1880.

[5] Transcript of 1871 Census for Matlock - link to Charles Rowland, Sarah's entry is just below. They also appear in later census returns.

[6] Advertisement in Bemroses Guide of 1869 when the Rowlands were managing both Matlock House and Rockside Hydropathic Establishments.

[7] Francis White's Directory of Sheffield and Twenty Miles Around (under Baths)

[8] Kelly's 1876 Directory

[9] Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, Derbyshire, published London (1881).

[10] "Derbyshire Times", Sat 15 March 1902. "Charles Rowland, aged 88, Matlock, died on Monday and was buried on Wednesday at the Parish Churchyard. Deceased founder of the Rockside Hydro".

[11] MI surname indexes

[12] "Derbyshire Courier", 28 September 1901. The couple were married by Rev. A. Lowe.

[13] 1911 census. She also advertised in Kelly's 1908 Directory and Kelly's Directory 1912

[14] "Derbyshire Times", 3 May 1902.

[15] "Derbyshire Courier", 5 October 1918. Read 1918 short newspaper report

[16] "Belper News", 3 October 1919. A Curative Spot. Also "Derbyshire Courier" 4 October 1919, who described it as being for "Jaded Workers".

[17] Kelly's 1928 Directory.