This is an advertisement, in postcard format, for the drapery store
of Peter Holmes on the corner of Bank Road and Causeway Lane.
The photographer must have been standing in
the middle of Crown Square to take the picture. Tram lines
can be seen in the road in front of the lamp post. The card
was posted in 1915, several years after Mr. Holmes and his family
had left Matlock, but must have been published whilst he ran
What is interesting about the image, which unusually affords us
a really good view of the entire building, is that on the Causeway
Lane side of Crown buildings are two large bay windows that face
the road. This was the house where the Holmes family, and later
the Beards, lived. The bays had been removed by 1928 or so, possibly
when Orme's bought the building (see Crown
Square from the County Bridge, 1928-30). You can still
see the pilasters at first and second floor levels today,
but the first floor bay was replaced by two windows whilst the
ground floor bay was replaced many years ago by a large plate glass
window. The small garden surrounding bay on the ground floor had
also gone by 1928. Nevertheless it provides some idea of when the
picture was taken; slightly lower hedging is visible on a photograph
of a flooded Causeway Lane in 1907 (not on this site).
The road was improved in n 1890 when Matlock UDC reported that "175
square yards of asphalte had been laid in Causeway Lane in front
of Crown Buildings for a distance of 200 lineal yards. The remainder
of Causeway Lane has been raised 13 inches" and "302
feet of Hopton Wood kerb, 302 feet of gritstone kerb and 645 feet
of asphalted footpath had been laid along the length of the road".
Peter Holmes was not the first occupant of the premises. Isaac
Hutchinson Longmire, a general and fancy draper, was living in
Matlock in 1891 and working at the shop.
In his book about the tram Glynn Waite provides a photograph of
the tram lines being laid in Crown Square in 1892 and the sign
above the door of 1 Crown Buildings reads "LONGMIRE".
At some stage he employed a young woman, Miss Alice Harrision,
as manageress. We learn from a breach of promise case involving
Miss Harrison that shortly after she had moved to Matlock Mr. Longmire
got into financial difficulties and the business taken over by
Mrs Barnett. This was in March, 1892.
Isaac Longmire moved away from Matlock as he had quite heavy debts and
by 1901 was in Saffron Walden and working as a draper's manager.
Peter Holmes suceeded Mrs Barnett, moving from his Dale Road store.
The earliest date we have for his business being in Crown Square
Whilst it was initially thought that the card may date from about
1907 it is quite possible that this is an early picture of the
drapery as the sign above the door reads simply "P. HOLMES" whereas
images closer to the end of his tenure display a rather more flamboyant
sign for "Peter Holmes" above
In the summer of 1905 Joseph Hodgkinson auctioned several properties
at the Red Lion. Two of the lots, the stone built residence called
Derwent House in Knowleston Place where Dr. Crarer lived and an adjacent
cottage and garden which was later described as "on the corner" ,
were bought by Peter Holmes.
He seems to have retained the properties for some years after
he had left Matlock as it wasn't until 1914 that the Knowleston Place
houses were for sale once again. The first lot that day was "All
those most substantially Gritstone-built and Blue-slated Business
premises comprising part of the property known as Crown buildings
situate in Crown Square, Matlock, consisting of the well-known and
Milliners' Establishment with Dwelling-house, as now in the occupation
of Mr. J. E. Beard".
Mr. Beard sold his stock in 1914; he was followed by R. and M. Reay
remained in Matlock until 1920.