Henry Ward and his first wife Hannah owned Bank House for many years,
opening their hydro on New Street some time before 1871.
They subsequently took over the adjacent Church View at the end
a hydropathic establishment set up by the former Smedley bathman
William Mycock in 1871.
Henry, one of the sons of Henry Ward and his wife Martha,
had been born in Manchester and christened at the Cathedral there
in 1829. By 1851
Henry and his brother John were working as Stone Cutters at Padfield.
The brothers married at St. Helen's, Darley Dale, on the same day
in 1852; Henry's wife was Hannah Cowlishaw (Cowlisher in the church
register). In the
1861 census the couple were visiting John and his family, who had
settled in Holloway.
Interestingly, in this census Henry's occupation was recorded as "Attends
a Hydropathic Establishment" whilst John, then 34, was shown
as "Superintends a Spinning Room".
It would seem that the brothers were working for John Smedley and
later advertisements for Bank House indicate that Henry Ward had
worked for John Smedley for sixteen years before going it alone;
the number of years he worked for Smedley was eventually lowered
to ten years in advertisements published in the first decade of
the twentieth century.
The 1870s saw both brothers running hydropathic establishments
The Henry Wards held an annual "Aged Pilgrims" Festival
at their hydro for a number of years and in 1880 they entertained
a large number of the aged men and women of Matlock in a tent erected
on their lawn. "Several ladies and gentlemen were present
on the occasion,
and the Matlock band rendered very efficient services. ... Games
and dancing were kept up until dusk when a display of fireworks
concluded the proceedings".
The aged men and women seem to have been chosen by the hydro's
In 1897 Henry Ward was providing massage and electric baths as treatments
for his guests, alongside billiards, lawn tennis and fishing as sporting
activities, with his terms ranging from 30s. to 40s. per week.
In early January 1900 it was reported that during the previous three
months there had been a number of visitors to Bank House and Church
View, "but the majority them have been enabled to return to
their respective homes", as they had from treatment
provided by Mr Ward and his assistants.
Bank House and Church View, 1893-1899.
Detail from an albumen print.
Note that the wing to the right of the main house was built,
but was not yet developed
(shown in the postcard above).
It is probable that the building was the bath
block, though could have been stables.
Hannah Ward died towards the end on 1901 and
the following year Henry married for the second time. His new wife,
whom he married by special license at Bakewell, was Miss Mary Woodfall
Billinge, daughter of Mr John Billinge, a wholesale fruiterer of
Liverpool. The new Mrs. Ward was said to have visited Matlock many
times before her marriage. At that time Henry Ward was one of the
oldest members of Matlock District Council and chairman of the Highways
he was also one of Matlock's representatives on the Bakewell Board
Guardians for twenty five years.
"owned considerable cottage property ... [and was] one of the
most prosperous business men in Matlock".
The couple's son, named after his father, was born in 1905.
They continued to run the business for a further ten years but
in 1913 the house was closed during the summer for its drainage system
to be reconstructed and the interior was also renovated. Sadly, it
did not re-open with either Henry Ward or his wife in charge as in
October that year Henry reportedly entered Bakewell Workhouse.
The sale notice for Bank House and Church View said that he had been
obliged to retire because of failing health,
and his establishment was available either to
buy or be taken on a long lease. "The house contains large entertainment
rooms, billiard room with a good table, smoke room, ladies' and gentlemen's
bathrooms fitted up for hydropathic treatment and 25 bedrooms".
Mr. John Toplis, of Clifton villa close by, would show prospective
purchasers or lessors over the house.
Henry Ward died at The Infirmary, Smithdown Road, Liverpool on 23
September 1914, aged 84. He was survived by his widow.
Initially Joseph J. Hales took over the hydro, changing the name
to Wyvern House and advertising the "Bijou Hydro" as a
wedding venue. In
1915 Joseph Burley, a voice specialist, was there but
in 1918 it was announced that "the company known as Wyvern
House was to be struck off".
The "substantial stone built properties Bank House and Church
View respectively, now known as Wyvern House", were advertised
as being for sale by Hodgkinsons in 1920.
The flour miller Ernest Henry Bailey of The Butts bought the property
in 1923 and offered it to the County Education Committee for conversion
to the secondary school which was to bear his name.
Alterations were undertaken
in 1923 and early 1924. The school's first headmaster, Mr Ernest
H. Chapman, was appointed in June 1924 and
Matlock's new school was opened by the Duke of Devonshire in the
September of that year.
Bailey's school outgrew the New Street site and eventually
moved to Chesterfield Road and became Highfields (see Schools
in earlier times). The building,
now known as the Ernest Bailey Building, remains in the ownership
of Derbyshire County Council and has been its County Record Office
for a long time.
The building in 2008. The box bay windows are
still a distinctive feature.
The gardens and croquet lawn, shown in the top image, have been covered
in tarmac for many years.
The hydro's main doorway led directly off New Street. A sign above
the entrance, which reads "Bank
House", can also be seen in the top image. There was no entrance
in the south front for many years but at some stage a second entrance
- somewhat out of keeping with the building - has been inserted into
the window at the top of the ramp/raised walkway. Neither feature
seem to have been part of the building when it was a grammar school
so was probably added when part of the building became the Record
Office. The RO now uses the whole building.
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web
 Henry and Sarah Ward were living on
New Street in the 1871 census |
the 1881 census | the
1891 census | the
1901 census. Trade directory entries include Kelly's
1876 Directory ( Henry's brother John was also listed in this
Directory) | Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's
1895 Directory | Kelly's
1899 Directory | Kelly's
1908 Directory | Kelly's
 "Derbyshire Times",
17 October 1874. Church View to be sold by Else and Newbold.
 In 1871 the bathman William Mycock
was living at Pope Car [Church View Hydro] - see his
1871 census entry. An advertisement he placed in the "Derbyshire
Times" on 10 June 1871 (one of several) said he had worked
as a Bathman at John Smedley's Establishment for ten years.
 Family Search shows he was christened
at Manchester Cathedral on 16 Oct 1829. The marriage records of John
and Henry Ward give their father's name as Henry.
 Marriages from Darley Dale Parish Register.
John Ward married Ann Crowder at St. Helen's, Darley on 30 Jun 1852,
the same day as his brother Henry married Hannah Cowlisher/Cowlishaw. Both
gave their occupation as stone cutters.
 1861 census. The ages of John and Ann
Ward's children show the family had all been in Holloway for some
years. John's wife Ann came be found in 1861 and 1871 in Matlock
Strays, Surnames W. Her husband died in Matlock, aged 50,
in 1877; he had opened his own hydro on the Bank - see Kelly's
1876 Directory. Ann Ward was running the hydro at
the time of the 1881 census.
Later the same year a grocers partnership between Henry Ward and
his nephew John was dissolved. See Matlock & Matlock
Bath Names in the London Gazette, 1881.
Independent", 6 May 1897 was one of several newspaper advertisements
that said Ward had worked for Smedley for 16 years. It was after
he re-married that it was said he was with Smedley for 10 years.
 "Derby Daily
Telegraph", 19 August 1880.
 "Derbyshire Times", 3
 BMD records show she died, aged 70.
 "Derbyshire Times", 25
October 1902. Henry Ward was described as "the veteran proprietor
of Bank House and Church View Hydros" and the paper congratulated
him on his marriage.
Echo", 6 October 1913.
 The young boy was with his parents at
Bank House Hydro in the 1911 census.
Post and Leeds Intelligencer",
4 November 1913.
 English and Welsh Probate calendars.
 "Nottingham Evening Post",
16 June 1914, was one of several papers announcing the hydro was
a wedding venue and not long afterwards the "Yorkshire
Post and Leeds Intelligencer", 22 August 1914 advertised the
 "Sheffield Independent",
20 September 1915. Mr. Burley advertised, but as Bank House, in Kelly's
 "Derbyshire Courier",
7 September 1918 was quoting from an announcement in the" London
 "Derbyshire Times",
27 November 1920. Hodgkinson's sale notice.
 "Derby Daily Telegraph", 4
May 1923. "The Donor of this School (i.e. Ernest H Bailey) invites
tenders for the alterations and improvements to Wyvern Hydro upon its
conversion to a Secondary School".
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
25 June 1924. The paper said he had "won one of the minor scholarships
in the county, and now became head teacher".
 "Derby Daily Telegraph", 17 September 1924.