This building on Dale Road may not seem important today, but is quite
significant in Matlock's history and its opening was a grand occasion.
Built as a market hall and opened in 1868, it included a large assembly
room above the market hall that was used by the petty sessions, for
meetings and for various entertainments.
The opening ceremony, followed by a public dinner for about 100 people,
took place on Monday 18th May 1868, when "the weather was everything
that could be desired for the occasion". It was advertised that
Lord Geo. Cavendish, the local M.P., would grace the occasion but
he was unable to absent himself from the House so the Mayor of Derby,
Alderman T. Rowe, stepped in. The band of the 11th Derbyshire (Matlock)
Rifle Volunteers greeted Alderman Roe at the station and there was
then a procession. The building was inspected before the Mayor of
Derby declared the building open. Dinner in the Assembly Room followed
at 3p.m. with a "sumptuous repast" catered for by Mr. Langley
of the Queen's Head. Then followed various speeches, with toasts and
a great deal of congratulating. Alderman Roe expressed the hope that
the Market Hall would prove as successful as the one in Derby, despite
some residents having been extremely reluctant to take shares in the
company. John Smedley's name must have been in everyone's mind as
the audience laughed and cheered at comments made over his refusal
to take shares in and support the project "because of the Queen's
Head adjoining; but he could have come there without drinking beer"
Smedley was, of course, teetotal.
On the following evening there was an inaugural concert, again with
the band playing. The music was clearly extremely loud inside the
hall as the crowd outside were able to hear easily and it was the
preferred option! Performers were: Madlle. Bertha Brouzil, a violinist
who was accompanied by her sister; Mr. Hendley, a tenor whose performance
was unfortunately disturbed; Miss Woodward and Mrs. Thompson were
also vocalists; Mr. Woodward gave a clarionet solo; Mr. Scott played
both the harmonium and the piano. Celebrations continued into the
next day, with a tea meeting and concert to raise funds for the choir
at Matlock House (Matlock Visitor[1,
"The building, in the style known continental gothic, consists
of a market hall, an assembly room, banking rooms, and a suite of
offices. The hall has twelve shops arranged along two sides, with
glass fronts, external and internal shopboards, and two rows of benches
or open stalls down the centre. The assembly Room is approached by
a wide stone staircases from the entrance vestibule of the market-hall,
and a similar staircase from the lobby of the offices. It is capable
of seating 500 persons. The whole of the walls are of gritstone, with
dressed face to the street front and rock face to the side walls,
and dressed stone to the windows and doors. The carved work of the
front is of Darley white stone. The works are from the designs of
and have been carried out under the direction of W. Hull, Esq., architect,
of Northampton. The building has been let to separate firms. The carving
is by Mr. W. White, jun., of Northampton. The assembly-room is a well-sized
structure, and its acoustic properties are very favourable (Matlock
Shops were let by a Public Auction held in the Assembly Room on
15th May (Matlock Visitor).
Matlock Bridge Hotel & Market Hall Company (Limited)
Mr. F. W. Stevens, Matlock
|Board of Directors:
||Mr. R. Skirrow, Matlock
Mr. Thos. Walters, Matlock
Mr. C. Stevens, Matlock Bank
Mr. R. Farnsworth, Matlock Bank
Mr. George Knowles, Matlock Bridge
Mr. Joseph Winson, Bakewell
T. Roe, Esq., Derby
Robert Sybray, Esq., Alderwasley
Mr. G. Staley, Tansley
Mr. W. Boden, Rowsley
Mr. M. Marriott, Matlock Bridge
Mr. John Blackwell, Matlock
A. W. Critchley, Esq., 71, Mosely-street, Manchester
||Mr. W. G. Wheatcroft
The number of directors had increased since 1866, at the outset
of the project, when they were named as Frederick William Stevens,
Tor House, Matlock, colour manufacturer, Thomas Walters, Matlock
Bridge, draper, Charles Stevens, Matlock, butcher & farmer,
George Staley, Tansley, farmer, George Knowles, Matlock Bridge,
stone merchant, Matthew Marriott, Matlock Bridge, seed merchant
& Robert Skirrow, Matlock Bridge, coal merchant.
The lists of shareholders varied between about 27 and 35.
Below are quotations from two books about Matlock that mention
the Market Hall.
- "The new Market Hall, opened in 1869 [sic],
is a chaste and prettily designed Gothic building, and is
conveniently arranged with internal shops and stalls (Black)".
- "The Market Hall, a private undertaking, was commenced
in April 1867, and opened on the 18th May in the following
year. The style of architecture, which is but tame, was
described at the time as Continental Gothic.
... The hall proper, somewhat of a gloomy chamber, has twelve
shops arranged along two sides, let to various tradesmen.
There are also stalls for the sale of various articles down
the centre. Over this is the Assembly Room, 74ft. by 35ft.,
and capable of seating 500 persons, approached by a wide
stone staircase from the entrance vestibule. Offices are
also provided, and from the lobby in front of these there
is another staircase. The scheme included the remodelling
of the Queen's Hotel".
"A butter and general market was opened in the Market
Hall on the 2nd of June, 1881 ... the Market Hall is open
daily for the sale of provisions and other commodities (Bryan)"
Despite such great expectations of success, the Matlock Bridge
Hotel and Market Hall Company was unfortunately wound up and
and the Extraordinary General Meeting was held on 28 April
London Gazette 15 April 1884 elsewhere on this website
you help identify these
coats of arms?
Various sources have been checked but the arms do not seem to
belong to the ancient Matlock families.