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Matlock Bridge, Pic Tor Walk, 1909
Matlock : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Black and white postcard
of the riverside walk
at the foot of Matlock's Pic Tor
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Pic Tor painting

Pic Tor Promenade

Pic Tor, the Cycle Track and Matlock Green

The Quarries

Dale Road iron bridge

Two Edwardian views of the pathway beside the River Derwent at the foot of Matlock's Pic Tor.

In 1902 Matlock UDC had agreed to complete the footpath from Hall Leys Promenade along the riverside as far as Dale Road iron bridge. Frederic Arkwright and the High Tor Company were to let the necessary land to the Council and seats were to be placed at intervals along the walk[1]. At the end of March 1903 the Council had distributed the seats and the walk was almost ready[2]. Once the Pic Tor Walk was completed it was described in a 1903 Guide: "This 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"[3].

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 Derwent Temperance Hotel[4]. About 1950, when the proprietress was a Miss Winifred Loukes, the Derwent Hotel was advertised as the only commercial hotel in Matlock that was actually on the bank of the river[5]. There is also a rowing boat in the water, which presumably belonged to the hotel.

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[6]. 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.

Above is a very similar view, taken perhaps a couple of years later. 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 the same collection on this website.
Matlock Bath's South Parade, 1909, & Boden's Baker & Confectioner
The same view, called "High Tor Walk, Matlock Bridge" was published as a coloured card

There are more Williamson family postcards on Rosemary Lockie's website
Old Postcard of The Way in from Coxbench, Little Eaton
Old Postcard of Old Bleach Mill, Little Eaton

Top postcard of "Pic Tor Walk, Matlock Bridge" kindly provided by and © Phil Williamson
Second postcard "Pic Tor and Promenade, Matlock", published by J. Welch & Sons, Photographic Publishers, Portsmouth, No. 4016. Not posted. In the collection of and © Ann Andrews
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References and notes:

[1] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 12 April 1902.
[2] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 28 March 1903. Matlock District Council meeting. The Pic Tor walk would be completed the following week.
[3] Ward Lock & Co's "Guide to Matlock, Dovedale, Etc.", Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (Guide Series 1903-4), "Walks Around Matlock"
[4] The Derwent Temperance Hotel used to be near the Railway Bridge on Dale Road, next to the old cobblers. At one time it housed the Matlock Club.
[5] "The Matlocks, Derbyshire", published about 1950 and printed by Geo. Hodgkinson, Printer, Matlock.
[6] "Sheffield Daily Telegraph", 19 May 1904.