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Matlock: The Quarries, Dale Road
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The Town Quarry on Dale Road
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Harvey Dale Mountain Limestone Quarry



Boat House Hotel and River, about 1908



Boat House Hotel & Quarry



Cottages, Matlock Dale, 1899



Matlock Bridge, Pic Tor Walk, 1909



Matlock Bank and Bridge - from near the Quarry, 1907


This view of the quarries on Dale Road, which was perhaps a water colour sketch, is slightly hard to date. Close to the bottom of St. John's Road are the cottages Sir Edward Guy Dawber designed in 1899 but there seem to be no vehicles on Dale Road so it is likely the card was published in the very early part of the twentieth century. The railway bridge is almost a grey smudge where it crosses the river. The pedestrian "iron bridge close to a quarry[1]" is rather more visible. The first building along the road from the railway bridge is, of course, the Boat House hotel. "Near to this bridge is an old-fashioned inn, the Boat House, which dated its fall as a popular hostelry from the the days when the hydros began to rise"[1].

In the early part of the twentieth century Greatorex & Son were limestone merchants, tar paving manufacturers & limestone quarry owners at the Harvey Dale Quarries on Dale Road[2]. This is the quarry shown on the postcard. The webmistress's father, Frank Clay, used to refer to Greatorex's tar boiling house as 'the coffee pot'! It must have been the locals' nickname. 'The coffee pot' was the long building facing the road on the south side of the quarry entrance, with the chimney rising from it's back wall. Limestone quarrying was, of course, a major industry in the Matlocks[3].

Another interesting feature is the huge greenhouse/conservatory at the bottom of the picture on the side of what was called Ferry Cottage in the 1851 census[4] and from where Mrs. Elizabeth (Betty) Brinsley carried on her late husband's carrying business. "The first house we come to on passing the Boat House (a small Inn at the entrance) is Mrs. Brinsley's, the Matlock carrier alternately to Sheffield and Derby, and who has charge of the ferry leading to Matlock village close by[5]".

Betty Chadwin born at Calverton NTT[4] and she married John Brinsley at St. Giles' in 1818[6]; the couple had five children. The parish register initially provides addresses of Holt Lane and the Boathouse, with John's occupation as publican, before being eventually described as living in Harvey Dale and John's occupation that of stage carrier. He advertised in early trade directories[7]. John was only 35 when he died in 1829[6], and Betty continued running the business for approximately a further 20 years[8]. She died at Walworth in 1857[9] and was buried at St. Giles, alongside her husband and son (another John), on 5th December 1857[9]. In this picture you can just about make out the great doors on the front of her house; the original doors have recently been replaced.


The "Renshaw" Series, CICL postcard (Printed in Liverpool). not posted, half-penny stamp
This card was probably originally part of a booklet of cards as there are perforations down one side.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
With thanks to Colin Goodwyn for his additional suggestions and help.

References (coloured links go to more on site information):

[1] Ward Lock & Co's "Matlock, Dovedale, Bakewell and South Derbyshire", Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (1932-3)

[2] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire", 1932. Colin Goodwyn has most kindly checked the Annual Returns of Quarries under the --- Act for 1925 and 1931. The 1925 Return shows Job Greatorex & Son of Harvey Dale Quarries were operating Harvey Dale and also Long Tor quarries (Matlock Bath). In 1931, Job Greatorex & Son were also operating Dale Road (5 people) and Holt Quarry (9 people). So like Cawdor joined Station quarry, Harvey Dale joined Holt.

[3] Stone Quarrying in the Matlocks

[4] Betty Brinsley appears in both the 1841 census and the 1851 census of Matlock

[5] Adam, W. (1840) "The Gem of the Peak" London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row MDCCCXL. See the transcript on this website

[6] Parish Registers

[7] Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directory, for 1828-9 (as Brunsley). Also see Glover's Directory, 1827-8-9 (as Brimsley)

[8] Nineteenth century trade directory transcripts Betty Brinsley advertised in all the directories between 1831 and 1852. In 1852 she was also given as running a lodging house

[9] Betty's burial is listed under Burials, Additional Entries