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.
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
It was to be on land owned by the Old English Hotel. Arthur Wall,
landlord of the Old English, was a keen cyclist 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
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.