In 1780 Matlock Boat-House was advertised as being to Let. It was described
as being "pleasantly situated on the Road-Side, near the River
Derwent, about one Mile from the Bath, with good Stables and Gardens
; fit either for a private Family or an Inn", with particulars
available from Mr. Leacroft.
In 1813 the lease on the property had thirteen more years to run.
The 1813 advertisement is the first time we see limestone burning
or quarrying mentioned in relation to the Boat House. "The
land abounds with limestone and the purchaser will have the use
of getting and selling the stone, or of burning the same into Lime,
without paying any extra rent for the premises for the reminder
of the lease".
The Boat House Inn, together with a cottage and Lime Works, was
on the market again in 1829 when it was to be auctioned by George
Smith. The tenant at the time, William Rawson, was to show the
premises to prospective buyers.
We learn from White's Directory of 1862 that
the Hotel was "within ten minutes' walk of Matlock Bridge station,
and is fitted up with every convenience conducive to the comfort
of visitors, who can, at a minute's notice, be supplied with boats
for a row on the river". The bridge in the picture, with two
large rounded arches and one square one plus a small arch for pedestrians
on the far bank, is the railway bridge built when the railway came
to Matlock in the late 1840s. Some children are standing on the pavement
opposite the Hotel, close to a gap in the wall and an open wooden
gate that leads to a small area of the riverbank. Presumably, it
was from here that boats mentioned in White's Directory could
be hired and was where the private waters for fishermen also were.
The hotel itself looks a bit battered. A letter was read at a Council
meeting in 1900, drawing attention hotel's sign being dangerous;
the owner was to remove it.
Whether this is the replacement is not known, but there was still
a sign on the next image,
when the hotel looked a little more cared for. The following year
the The Town Clerk was to write to the County Council about legal
proceedings against a visitor who had, allegedly, damaged
a wall near the Boat House Hotel.
These walls look strong, but Derbyshire County Council would have had
to repair the damage and, presumably, prosecute the vandal.
Below is an old undated photograph that was taken from the iron
river bridge looking towards the Boat House. A boat is moored at
the water's edge and is, presumably, one of the boats that the Boat
House used to hire out.
links go to on site transcripts):
 "Derby Mercury",
16 June 1780, Advertisement. Mr. Leacroft was a local attorney: see Leacroft
 "Derby Mercury", 14
January 1813, Advertisement.
 "Derby Mercury", 1
July 1829, Advertisement.
 "General Commercial Directory
and Topography of the Borough of Sheffield with all the Towns, Parishes,
Villages and Hamlets Within a Circuit of Twenty Miles",
pub. Francis White & Co. Sheffield (1862). See on
 See Matlock: River
Derwent near the Boat House Hotel, about 1908
Times and Chesterfield Herald",
7 March 1900. Meeting of Matlock Council. The sign reads "Boat
House Hotel --- ---"
 "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield
Herald", 17 April 1901. The visitor's actions were described
as the "wilful throwing down of a wall", so he or she must
have pushed it over.