The images here show the Derwent Gardens not long after the
grounds were laid out, turning Orchard Holme into somewhere
visitors could either sit on the seats provided or just
walk around the paths near the river. The switchback railway
was to the left of the path and the view is towards the
Heights of Abraham. This land was privately owned. So when
the local Council were unable to give permission for Sunday
concerts on the Lovers' Walks Mr. Herbert Buxton, who owned
the Derwent Pleasure Grounds, came to the rescue to provide
music for the visitors' entertainment as his land was not
subject to the same restrictions. On Sunday 29 July 1906
he allowed concerts to be played in his grounds.
The two venues were still competing two years later. The
Whitsuntide Bank Holiday in 1908 saw a large number of
excursionists visiting Matlock Bath. There were band concerts
of the promenade, plus boating and pierrot troupes providing
the entertainment at the northern end of the village. The
Derwent Gardens provided their own pierrot show.
Following the purchase by Matlock Bath Urban District Council
of a plot adjacent to the Derwent Gardens in readiness for
the erection of the Kursaal, which was known as the Ferry
Pleasure Ground, Herbert Buxton made a claim against them
in September 1908 regarding the value of a right of way.
After consultation, agreement was reached with Mr. Buxton
being granted a new right of way in a different place, the
gift of a boat shed and £125 in damages as well as the arbitration
By 1910 bowling had become popular and a club was formed
in Matlock Bath with Bill Boden as its secretary. The green
at the Derwent Gardens was used for the sport and was to
be properly laid out for the following season.
The year 1911 was to include a day of national celebration
and Mr. Boden wrote to the Council in his official
capacity stating that Mr Buxton would throw open the Derwent
Gardens on Coronation Day and the Club would lend the bowls.
It also reported that the Venetian Fete Committee promised
Art Nouveau embossed postcard of the gardens. The central
image is enlarged below.
Looking towards the entrance near the river. Behind the urns
is the old boat house, beyond
which is the Ferry House and its outdoor eating area. The
cafe within the gardens was open
for business but the canopy across the front had not yet
The orange patches in the background are the rooves of the
houses on the Heights of Abraham.
Sheffield Independent, 8 September
MATLOCK BATH. - The Edinburgh and Derwent Gardens
Cafe, ideal for pleasure parties; any number catered
for; Apartments. - J. W. Boden, Prop
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on
this web site):
 "Derbyshire Times", Saturday
4 August 1906. The local band was not allowed to use the
band kiosk on the Lovers' Walks on Sundays at this time
as playing music was disapproved of in some quarters. See Lovers'
Walks and the Band Stand
 "Manchester Courier
and Lancashire General Advertiser" 9 June 1908.
 "Derbyshire Courier",
3 October 1908.
News", 9 September 1910.
 "Derbyshire Times",
6 May 1911.