The top postcard shows the Tower viewed from slightly higher up
the Masson hillside. In marked contrast to the stunning and very
green view of the Tower and the distant hills, the message on the
postcard, written in early December 1907, reads:
its snowing beautifully just what we wanted to see"
Just over fifty years earlier The Derby Mercury reported some
exceptional Spring weather in the Peak District. "On
Tuesday before noon a party of Americans were walking on the Heights
of Abraham at Matlock, ankle deep in snow, but with the sun inconveniently
hot on their backs. At this time the weather was perfectly clear
and fine, and the snow rapidly disappearing. There was a similar
storm in this district on the 10th May, 1817, but nothing of the
kind is remembered since, until this week".
In 1882 Samuel Sprinthall advertised the Heights of Abraham Pleasure
Grounds, the Rutland Cavern and the Victoria Prospect Tower.
He had just become the lessee.
Ward Lock Guide published in the early 1930s described the Heights
and its grounds. "The lower slopes are very thickly wooded,
but higher there are unobstructed views. At the highest point
(about 800 feet) is the Prospect Tower, which does not
form part of a factory, whatever the critical visitor might think.
But the view afforded at the top of the tower will disarm criticism.
Originally intended as the Victoria Tower in compliment to the
late Queen, it soon took the commoner name of Prospect".
Mr. Sprinthall had passed away by this time; initially two of his
daughters were in charge but a younger daughter took over from
them and carried on the family business with her husband. She had
married Theodore Aspey and the couple ran the Heights from 1929
until their elder son took over.
The man and woman in the second image seem to be standing outside the
boundary wall. The ground is very steeply sloping, with the dry stone
walls almost clinging to the hillside. They were not in a good state
of repair. There is a sign at 45 degrees from the vertical to the
right of them. Perhaps it was warning about old lead mining shafts.
The sepia version of the card (below) is, in many respects, a little
clearer than the coloured image and provides a better view of the
small single storey building in the bottom left hand corner.