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Pic Tor, the Cycle Track and Matlock Green
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Pic Tor, the Cycle Track and Matlock Green
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Pig Tor 1903-05



Pic Tor Walk, 1909
discusses the two hotels



Matlock Bank, the Hall Leys and Dale Road, 19124-20




Hartley's shop, 1904, has a little more about cycling events



Photographed from above the Holt Quarry on Dale Road, this view of Matlock is a slightly unusual one. In the bottom right corner is the railway line, which at the time the photograph was taken ran from Manchester Central Station to London St. Pancras. Although we can't see, it the railway crosses over the A6 at this point on a large arched bridge before disappearing into the tunnel. The River Derwent, in the centre of the picture, is flowing towards the steep sided gorge of Matlock Dale, with the public footpath hugging the far side of the riverbank on a narrow strip of land below Pic Tor and St. Giles' Church.



The upper storeys of Brown's (left) and the Derwent (right) temperance hotels on Dale Road.
Brown's became the Trevelyan and then the Matlock Club.


In the late nineteenth century it was apparently the habit of local boys to stand on the Pig Tor Rock (Pic Tor by the time of this postcard) on Sunday afternoons and see how far they could throw stones. Unfortunately, in 1891 John Lowe of Matlock Town hurled a stone through the window of Miss Marriott's Temperance Hotel (called Brown's) and was fined £1 2s 6d by the Matlock Police Court[1]. He must have been good at throwing as it was quite a long way.

Just behind the hotels is a grassy area with what looks like paths or tracks on it. This land had been part of a Rifle Range that was on land between Dale Road and the river, covering about three quarters of the area from the present railway bridge to the County Bridge in the early part of the nineteenth century.

In December 1896 it was announced that a new cycling track was being laid at Matlock, and would ready for use by the following spring[2]. It was to be on land owned by the Old English Hotel. Arthur Wall, landlord of the Old English, was a keen cyclist[3] and won many trophies. The paths in the picture are actually part of the oval track that was used by Matlock Cycle Club members from 1897 until 1914. The line behind the track (that looks like a straight path) was not a path at all; it was actually a row of three tennis nets and, if you look very closely, you can see the tram lines marked out on the courts. At least one of the houses in Derwent Avenue are believed to have the remnants of the track in the garden. The next image shows a little more of the track.

The Old English Hotel Co clearly intended to put a bridge across the river at the corner of their land to make a way to Matlock Green and Town at one time. The Articles of the Old English Hotel Co, which was incorporated in 1881, included a copy of a plan from the deeds showing the path heading to the river and "suggested bridge"[4].

The buildings in the centre of the photo are the Almshouses at the end of Causeway Lane, Knowleston Place and some of Matlock Green. Causeway Lane is just about visible. The road to Tansley and Alfreton (the A613) disappears off over the hill.



Harrison Almshouses and Knowleston Place, Matlock Green.

 
1, 2and 3. "Pic Tor, Matlock". This postcard is No.626 in "The Peak Series" published by R. Sneath, Change Alley, Sheffield.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and researched © Ann Andrews.
Written and researched © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
 

References (coloured links go to on site transcripts):

[1] "Derbyshire Times", 18 April 1891

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 2 December 1896.

[3] See Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory | the 1901 census. Arthur Wall was born in 1886 and died in Matlock in 1908.

[4] From the research notes of Colin Goodwyn, with grateful thanks.

[5] See Knowleston Place, 1862. There is a modern photograph of the Almshouses in the MIs section.