This is a relatively rare view of Matlock Green
and the church, with the Victoria Tower and Masson in the background
from. The large property called Dean Hill House is in
the foreground; for some time it was the home of Miss
Margaret Harrison, who was a major benefactress in the town, and
her brother William. Census and trade directory evidence shows
they moved to Matlock not long before the 1881 census.
Cricket nets were out on the Causeway Lane ground but they were
not being used. The only people to be seen were two in the churchyard
- they look like black dots - and one or two on Stoney Way.
The suggested dates for the top picture have been reached because
of two events. Firstly, Matlock's War Memorial, on the top of
Pic Tor, was unveiled in August 1921. Secondly,
the local council's development in Starkholmes had not been built
when this picture was taken. It would have been a prominent landmark
but the first houses were not completed until 1932.
The new houses were urgently needed. At a Council meeting in 1930
a letter had been read out from a Mr. J. J. Lynch of Starkholmes
requesting that, if the Council were to build the new homes then
being talked about, some should be in Starkholmes. He added that
many people were living "in miserable dwellings entirely unfit
for human habitation and the conditions were deplorable".
In May 1932 36 tenants were selected for these new homes out of
nearly 150 applicants.
There was also some discussion about what to call the development
and the Councillors initially decided to call it "Holmestown",
which was a play on Starkholmes and Matlock Town. However,
their architect, Mr. J. Simpson, complained about the decision
as he felt that "Shortlands" and Whitewood Way" were
more appropriate because the names had formerly applied to the
lands there. There was some dissent, and the odd rather flippant
suggestion, but common sense eventually prevailed and the architect
got his way.
Enlargement: Matlock Green, Knowleston Place, Stoney Way, Matlock
Town and Starkholmes.
Harrison's Almshouses can be seen at the bottom of the hill
on Causeway Lane on the right. The
entrance to the cricket ground is next to the Almshouses.
It is not clear when the spelling of Dean Fields/Dean Hill was changed
by the Council. Dean Hill House was still shown on the OS map of
1967, so it is assumed that it was some time after that. A family
called Deane lived in Matlock in the sixteenth century. See the
details of the 1544
Will of Robert DEANE and the arms
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web
 The Harrisons had probably not been
in Matlock long in as they did not advertise in Kelly's Directory
for 1881. In 1861 William was living at High Street, Skipton whereas
Margaret was with her parents in Gargrave. Both were living in
Gargrave in 1871. They can be found in Matlock
in the 1881 census | the 1891
Miss Margaret Harrison was at Dean Hill House in the
 "Derbyshire Times",
24 May 1930. Houses wanted.
 "Derbyshire Times", 28 May 1932.
 "Derbyshire Times", 24
September 1932 and "Derby Daily Telegraph", 20 September