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Matlock Bath: Clarence Terrace, Holme Road, about 1900
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1870s stereoview

Matlock Bath and the Heights of Abraham, 1890s

Clarence Terrace
from the back, 1892

The Clarence, on the opposite side of the road

Past Matlock & Matlock Bath photographers

Clarence Terrace is a row of five tall Victorian Gothic houses on the left Holme Road as you walk up the hill. The properties were built in 1879. The fronts of the houses are constructed of stone and the window surrounds were originally painted to simulate stone,[1] which is why they look pale on this photograph, although today some of them are painted dark green and dark red. The houses look as if they are three storey at the front, but the windows of a lower ground floor can be seen at around ground level. This lower ground floor is more obvious at the rear, and leads onto a back garden. The backs and sides of the houses are brick built, a stratagem used by various builders to cut down on their costs. Other houses in the area, such as Rockvale Terrace and 4 & 5 Clarence Villas, were built the same way.

The small front gardens are bounded by low brick and stone walls, to which attractive wrought iron railings and gates were fixed. Note the eye to detail, even on the walls. Where the each boundary wall is at its highest, which is next to the path of the property next door, there is a small curve to link the levels, taking the eye from the lower level up to the next one. The curves begin at the corner of the lowest house. Sadly, these railings have gone and have not been replaced but the wrought ironwork outside two third floor windows remains today.

All the windows were dressed in the fashion of the day, with Roman blinds and heavy lace curtains.

Several house became lodging houses and Rooms to Let signs can be seen in two of the first floor windows. Miss Mary Thickett advertised a school for young ladies at No2 in 1891[2]: Eliza Aspey had apartments there in 1899[3]. Cyril Rowland, who worked at the Post Office and later owned the Cumberland Cavern, was lodging at No.3 in 1901[4]. James Henstock and his family lived at No. 5 and rented out apartments until at least 1911; James died in 1923[5]. On 21 July 1901 Else and Son, of Matlock, sold the entire block of five freehold houses, which were then occupied by Messrs Henstock, Evans, Drabble, Mrs Aspey and Miss Thickett, at an auction at Hodgkinson's Hotel. They were bought by Sidney Wheatcroft of Hodgkinson's Hotel for £2120[6].

In the downhill view we can see the entrance to the Clarence Hydro on the left, opposite the lamp post. Further down and on the right are the houses of Rockvale Villas which were built in the 1890s. Behind the lamp post is the back view of the first house on Brunswood Road, where Cyril Edmonds lived in his early married life. Whilst is it possible that a very young Cyril took these pictures, they could also have been taken by William Potter, a local photographer who lived in one of the houses of Rockvale Villas that back on to Rockvale Villas.

Original postcards in the collection of, provided by and © Christine Leila Hill. There is no publisher's name on the back.
Information researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links go to transcripts or information elsewhere on this web-site):

[1] Recollections of the late Mr. Frank Clay, from private papers and notes owned by Mrs. Doreen Buxton, some of which were written in 1992 and are still within copyright.
[2] Although the 1891 census only gives the address as Holme Road, we know Miss Thickett was there as she advertised in trade directories. See: the 1891 census | Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory | the MI for Mary and her sister.
[3] Kelly's 1899 Directory | the 1901 census. Eliza also lived at other properties in the vicinity, including the Clarence - see Kelly's 1908 Directory.
[4] the 1901 census.
[5] See James Henstock's MI. Also the 1881 census | the 1891 census | Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory | the 1901 census | Kelly's 1908 Directory.
[6] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 27 July 1901.