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Matlock Bath: Derby Road, Woodland House
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Engraving of Matlock Bath, from the Wild Cat Tor



Matlock Bath from Cat Tor



Woodland House, on Derby Road, was one of several Matlock Bath properties that fell victim to the bulldozer; it was demolished as part road widening scheme of the 1960s and early 1970s[1]. So were other houses nearby, including those on the other side of the approach to the New Bath Hotel. These days several of them would have been listed.

Of all the people who lived at Woodland House, two surnames stand out from the rest.

The first name is is that of Saxton as Woodland House became the home of George Withers Saxton when he left the New Bath Hotel about 1855[2]. He died at Woodland House in January 1862[3], and his sisters continued to live there for some years afterwards[4]. When, in 1879, Miss Saxton decided that she wanted to live abroad, the house and its contents were sold. The property was described at the time as "a commodious detached freehold residence ... now in the occupation of Miss Saxton, having a frontage to the main road leading on to Cromford, and adjoining the grounds of the New Bath Hotel. The house has four principal rooms on the ground floor, basement kitchens and cellars, and ten bedrooms, closets, &c. The ... property, in size and situation, is well adapted for the accommodation of visitors"[5].

Five years later Woodland House was again being advertised to be either let or sold and was considered suitable accommodation for either a gentleman's family, for apartments letting, or for use as a private hotel[6]. In 1885, another sale notice described the garden as being "planted with taste and judgement, and is also adorned with ferns and plants of great beauty"[7]. In 1896 it was owned by Mr Charles Hill, J.P,. of Woodborough Hall, Notts[8]. It was briefly used as a boarding house[9].

In 1915 Woodland House had been empty for five or six years. It was "cleaned, redecorated and equipped to form the headquarters of the West Yorkshire" regiment stationed in the village[10].

The second surname of note, and one that had a fairly long association with the property, is Hoyland. In the 1950s and 60s the building was known locally as "Hoyland's Flats". The first of the family to live there was Maria Fretwell Hoyland (née Frost) who moved in either shortly before or shortly after her husband Francis died in 1920[11]. She was succeeded by her son Francis and his wife Annie[12]. Annie was the last of the family to live at Woodland House. She lived in the basement flat with Miss Cawood, who was still living with her when she passed away[13]. Another person who had a room a "Hoylands" was Miss Webb, a teacher at Matlock Bath school. This meant that a member of staff was always on hand, even when the roads were impassable to vehicles.



1930s advertisement for Woodland House, when Francis William and Annie Hoyland were the proprietors.

1. "Woodland House, Matlock Bath" in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
2. Advertisement from "The Matlocks, Derbyshire. Official Guide". Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published 1930s © Ann Andrews collection.
Scanned for this website and information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] There is more information about the road being widened.
[2] George Saxton was there in the 1861 census and was also listed in White's Directory, 1862. Also see his MI and New Bath Hotel. Several of his ssiters are mentioned in the Pre-1858 Will of Mary Ann Gresley, see Surnames G.
[3] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, January 15, 1862.
[4] Miss Saxton and other Saxton relatives were at Woodland House in the 1871 census.
[5] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, October 1, 1879, Two adverts and contents sale to be on 8th Oct.
[6] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, July 30, 1884.
[7] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, April 29, 1885.
[8] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, June 17, 1896.
[9] See Woodland ho in Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1908 Directory.
[10] "Derbyshire Courier", 9 March 1915. Nobody was living there at the time of the 1911 census, which bears out the claim that it had been empty for some time before the Army used it.
[11] Mrs. Maria Fretwell Hoyland ran a boarding house at Woodland House and she advertised in the Kelly's Directories of 1922, 1925, 1928 and 1932. She died 1938. She and her husband had previously run both the Rutland Arms and the County & Station Hotel. They were living at Woodland House by September 1919 as the address was given when Francis William married in that year.
[12] Francis Wm Hoyland advertised in Kelly's Directory of 1941 and he died 1945 and it was probably post war that the property was converted to flats. Also see Dale Road, Matlock Bath, about 1895. There is a record of a Mr. Hoyland living on Woodland Terrace in 1919, but it is unclear which of the two Mr. Hoylands this was.
[13] The information about Miss Cawood surviving Mrs. Hoyland and about Miss Webb from conversations with Ken Smith. There's more information about the school.