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Oldham House Hydro & Woodlands School

Oldham House and Prospect Place Hydro, 1903 Advertisement

Oldham House Hydro, Wellington Street, 1924

Oldham House Dining Room

Oldham House Hydro, Tennis Court & Bowling Green

Vernon Lamb Archive

Although postal dates for several versions of this card are in the 1920s, the original photograph was taken before the First World War. Unusually, it shows a large number of people outside the premises. Were they celebrating a Coronation, a Jubilee, mourning someone or just having their picture taken? It may be fanciful, but it is possible the female seated on the bench on the left was Rachel Wildgoose, surrounded by some of her staff and family. The woman on the steps, leaning against the wall, could have been a bathwoman or a cook. The people on the terrace on the right and on the first floor roof are probably guests.

Mrs. Wildgoose regularly advertised her first establishment, Oldham House on Wellington Street, in the Sheffield papers:

OLDHAM HOUSE.-Mr and Mrs Wildgoose (daughter of the late Thos. Davis) Hydropathic Establishment, next door to Prospect place, Matlock Bank. N.B. An experienced Bathman in attendance[1].

She was to buy Prospect Place in 1899 for about £2,500[2] and the two businesses became one. This image shows the combined properties.

See samples of their notepaper on Matlock: Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (4), N - R
The Vernon Lamb Archive, Hydros and Convalescing, Index has 15 photos of the hydro's staff and guests

"Matlock, Oldham House Hydro", Photochrom Co. Ltd., London & Tunbridge Wells, no. B.5936.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only


[1] "The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent", Monday, 15 May, 1893.

[2] "Derbyshire Times", 27 May 1899. The purchase was made after an auction. It is quite possible that the Davis family were selling it following the death of Mrs. Davis, the mother of Mrs. Wildgoose.