Bath: Fish Pond Stables, 1907
|Matlock Bath : Twentieth Century
Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
This card is of the Heights of Abraham, the Temple Hotel, part
of South Parade near the Fish Pond Hotel and the Fish Pond Stables
(foreground, centre and right). The Heights were probably the
main interest when the photograph was taken, but it is the Stables
that make the card of historical interest as it shows
just how extensive they were. They were demolished to
make way for the Grand Pavilion, which was initially called
the Kursaal and built in 1910, just three years after this
card was posted.
The white painted advertisement on the side of the shop, on the
left, is next to the Fish Pond Hotel and advertises the Fish
Pond Hotel, the Stables and cycles. There are some beautiful
carriages in the stables' yard next to Boden's Refreshment and
Dining Rooms but perhaps Mr. Boden was less happy with them being
so close to his windows.
"The Briddons owned and ran the livery stables which stood
on the site of the Pavilion. ... The livery stables would be quite
busy bearing in mind that the Royal Hotel had no stabling at all
and Matlock Bath was the starting off place for 4-in-hand and
6-in-hand horse drawn coaches which set off to Dovedale, Baslow
and a host of other places. When the livery stables finished Briddon
sold off his business and started as an hotelier near Dovedale.
... Some of the stabling moved to Portland Mews on Clifton Road.
Furniss of Matlock took over much of the coach business. They
[Furniss's] had a booking hall tucked into the corner where the
bus stop is at the bottom of the hill by the Fishpond Hotel".
The Briddons, mentioned in the quotation, were Herbert Briddon
and his sons Frederic and Cecil.
Furniss of Matlock was William Furniss, cab & coach proprietor
& hay & straw dealer.
In 1893 Mr. Briddon had fallen foul of Matlock Bath Local Board
and its bye-laws because he had erected a building very close to
the Fish Pond, which had not been built according to the
plans deposited. The structure, presumably the wooden structure
that looks like a booking hall on the postcard above, had
been standing for some time before a decision was reached about
what to do. The Board eventually served notice on Mr. Briddon and
at 6 a.m. on Thursday 23rd March several Board employees began
demolishing the building under the watchful eye of Mr. W. Jaffrey,
the Board's Surveyor. According to the newspaper report, Mr. Briddon
took charge of the material but it was alleged that
he would be unable to do business over the 1893 Easter holiday
as a result of the Board's action.
As the Briddons left Matlock Bath there was further friction with
Matlock Bath Council. It was suggested by Mr.
Wheatcroft, one of the Councillors, that if the Council allowed
Mr. Briddon to remain on the Fishpond premises after 31st October
1908, that he should make a present of the fish in the pond! In
the following February the Council were aghast when Cecil Briddon
took the large fish, which he owned, to Dovedale.
Briddon has wanted £400 for the fish but the Council were
not forthcoming and they were forced to re-stock it with much
1903 advertisement, Ward Lock Guide.
1903 advertisement, Heywood's Guide
, showing the front of the stables.
1. Postcard, franked 23 Sep 1907, was sent to Mr. Webber
of Southtown, Gt Yarmouth from his sister Eva who describes Matlock
Bath as "a lovely place Charming scenery .... perfect weather".
No publisher details provided.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann
Andrews. who also researched the information.
2. Advertisement from Ward Lock & Co's "Guide to Matlock,
Dovedale, Etc.", Illustrated Guide Books of England and
Wales (Guide Series 1903-4)
3. Advertisement from "Abel Heywood's Guide Books, With
Cycling, Walking and Driving Routes. Matlock Illustrated." (1903)
Abel Heywood & Son, Manchester & London. Advertisement
also in the collection of and © Ann
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
for personal use only.
References (the coloured
links are to onsite transcripts):
 The Royal Assent was given and the
Matlock Bath Improvement Act became law on 4 August, 1905. It paved
the way for the Kursaal to be built and granted permission for the
Urban District Council to buy or compulsorily purchase land and buildings
for its plans. Matlock Bath Council had compulsorily
purchased the stables site from Messrs. Briddon under the
1905 Improvement Act ("Derby Daily Telegraph,"
16 October 1908).
 Reminiscences of the late
Mr. Frank Clay, from his private papers and notes owned by the
 The Briddon family was
living in Matlock Bath in the 1891
census and 1901
census. Herbert Briddon advertised in Kelly's
1895 Directory and Kelly's
 William Furniss advertised in both Kelly's
1908 Directory and Kelly's
 "Derbyshire Times",
25 March 1893.
 "Belper News", 20
November 1908. Official Baiting. A Matlock Council's Sport.
 "Derby Daily Telegraph",
18 February 1909.