In 1902 Matlock UDC had agreed to complete the footpath
from Hall Leys Promenade along the riverside as far as Dale
Road iron bridge, blasting the rock where necessary. Frederic
Arkwright and the High Tor Company were to lease the necessary
land to the Council and seats were to be placed at intervals along
By the end of March 1903 the Council had distributed the seats
and the walk was almost ready.
Once the Pic Tor Walk was completed it was described in a 1903
is a newly formed, and very interesting, short walk. Go down
Hall Lees by river-side towards Matlock Green. Pass through Knowlstone
Place Gardens, and along by Pic Tor Rock, to Dale Road, leading
into Matlock Bath Road".
Whitsuntide 1904 found the Matlocks ready to receive more visitors
than ever if the weather was fine and the Pic Tor Promenade was
reported to be a favourite walk for tourists.
The visitors, whether they were staying at one of Matlock's many
hydropathic establishments or had arrived by charabanc for the
day, would have enjoyed strolling along the river bank.
Here are two Edwardian views of the pathway. In the middle distance
of the top picture are properties on Dale Road and the railway
bridge is just behind the tree in the centre of the photograph.
Just below and to the right of the buildings, and actually on the
riverbank, is a gap in the wall where some people are either standing
or sitting. This was the garden of the former Brown's Temperance
Hotel (enlarged below). Samuel Brown had run another temperance
establishment in Riversdale House at the far end of Dale Road between
1876 and 1881 before moving to this end of Dale Road.
He and his wife were here for about nine years but following the
death of his eldest daughter in 1890 Samuel seems to have become
very ill, so stopped being an hotelier..
Miss Harriett Marriott, together with her sister Mrs. Hannah Boden,
took over in 1891 and retained Brown's name.
John Taylor was the next proprietor and the business was eventually
renamed the Trevelyan (see advert below).
By 1911 the premises had become the Matlock Club, with James Hay
as the steward and his wife assisting him.
In 1939 Walter Tyson was the steward and his wife Beatrice its
stewardess. A sewing
shop is in the ground floor today (2017).
The Derwent Hotel was next door, closer to the railway bridge
(where Mills and Black is today). Unlike Brown's it remained as
a temperance hotel for many years.
Enlargement, showing the two temperance hotels, the slipway
and landing stage for Brown's -
Trevelyan - and a rowing boat in the
This stretch of water was not incident free and there is a slightly
amusing story from the Brown's tenure. After three men were arrested
and charged with stealing salvage from the Old English Hotel following
the fire there in 1884 Mrs. Mary Brown gave evidence at their trial.
She recounted how she had seen a barrel floating downstream past
the hotel and had allowed the men to use one of her husband's boats
to rescue it. She then watched them getting the barrel onto the
bank near the railway bridge.
1903 advertisement for the Trevelyan Temperance Hotel on Dale Road. The
steps down to the
landing stage can be seen by the river's edge.
John Taylor changed the name from Brown's in the mid 1890s.
He was followed by John Hartness Railton
W. Coombs is named on this 1903 advertisement but it was Susan
Coombs who ran it
About 1950, when the proprietress was a Miss Winifred Loukes, the
was advertised as the only commercial hotel in Matlock
that was actually on the bank of the river
She was related to Mrs Dorothy Fairey who was here in 1939 but later
ran the Abbey Hotel
Below is a very similar view to the top image; it was taken
perhaps a couple of years later. The temperance hotels are hidden
by the bend in the river. However, behind the central tree is
the arch of the railway bridge where it crosses the river and
the square arch where the bridge spans the road. They can also
be seen in the top picture, but here they are clearer.
The top postcard was sent home to his relatives by a young
Australian man whilst visiting England to study music. There's
another card from Phil Williamson's collection on this website.
Bath's South Parade, 1909, & Boden's Baker & Confectioner.
The same view, called "High
Tor Walk, Matlock Bridge" was published as a coloured
There are more Williamson family postcards on Rosemary Lockie's
Postcard of The Way in from Coxbench, Little Eaton.
Postcard of Old Bleach Mill, Little Eaton.