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Matlock Bath: Masson House & Masson Terrace
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Pedigree of Wolley of Allen Hill



The Wolley Manuscripts, Matlock



The Wolley Manuscripts Derbyshire




Woodbank and Masson Mill from Harp Edge,
about 1910



The Rutland Arms & Fairview Terrace



The Rutland Arms & Masson Mill



Masson was originally "an extensive tract of common land which descended to the river, and extended a long way in the direction of Cromford". After the Enclosure Act of 1775-6 the common was enclosed. Masson House, Masson Mill and Masson Terrace were to take their names from the land they were built on[1].

One of the earliest references to Masson House was in Reverend Richard Ward's guide of 1818. "Upon entering further into the dale, and proceeding along the bank of the river, the first object that occurs is a Calvanistic Meeting-house [the former Glenorchy chapel]; and a little way beyond it, on an elevated site, stands the neat white stone house of Adam Wolley, Esq. commanding a fine view of most beautiful scenery". He added that it faced, on the opposite side of the river, the "striking continuous range of perpendicular rocks", two hundred feet high and half a mile long, known as Wild Cat Tor [Cat Tor today][2].

In 1838 William Adam noted that this late eighteenth century house was "built on an elevated platform" and that it was "strikingly conspicuous by the massive and lofty wall recently built up from the road to give greater space and security to the terrace in front of the house"[3].

Adam Wolley was a member of an ancient family. He descended through the Wolley's of Allen Hill and was both a Lawyer of some note and an antiquarian, with an unsurpassed collection of local documents, pedigrees and papers - many relating to Derbyshire - that he bequeathed to the British Museum[4]. He died in 1827, but was survived by his wife Anne and two daughters[5]. His wife was to continue to live in the house[4] and it became the home of his younger daughter, also Anne, the wife of the Derby solicitor Charles Clarke (see his short biography).

The Clarkes played a major part in the life of the village, and contributed to the church[6]. Anne Clarke passed away in 1885 and her property, including Masson House, was put up for sale the following year[7]. The sale particulars stated that "The stone built family residence ... is approached by a drive from the turnpike road which is screened by a belt of timber-like trees ... detached from the residential portion is a stone built stable for four horses, loose box, harness room, large carriage house and a loft"[7]. Later photos show how well screened the house had become from the road.


Derbyshire Times, 24 October 1885.

The familiar figure of Mrs. Clarke, of Matlock, has gone from us, and her many unostentatious acts of charity and consideration will cause her name to be revered for many a long year. Her somewhat eccentric "turn out" has attracted the attention of most visitors to Matlock for many years past. An Antique yellow coach - with a pair of even more antique horses, a prim footman on the box, and a fully rigged postillion formed the deceased lady's ordinary means of locomotion in the district, and possibly the reminiscence of the good old days will disappear with the demise of the subject of this note[8].


Both the house and Masson-Terrace, which was part of the same Lot, were bought by Mr. Hubbersty, of "The Ford", for £3,400. A number of cottages were also sold at this auction[9].

John Adams Wheatcroft, who had previously lived at Wood End, was the first tenant. In 1888 wrote to the Local Board complaining of the nuisance experienced from the smoke from Masson chimney[10]. Early the following year he "declined housekeeping", sold his furniture and effects and moved elsewhere[11].


The Clarke family
Masson House, About 1891-2. The Clarke family lived here for some years at the end
of the nineteenth century. Four of their children were born in Matlock Bath.
The man on the right was probably the photographer's assistant.

Thomas Clarke, a Derby maltster, his wife Frederica (nee Disney) and their growing family moved into Masson House not long afterwards and their second son Frederick Fitzroy Clarke was born here at the end of 1989[12]. Five of the images on this page are of the time they spent in Matlock Bath.

In 1893 the main road at the below the house was said to be dangerous on a dark night as there was only space for one person to walk at the bottom the drive. Both Mr. Clarke and Mr Haslam, Mr. Hubbersty's agent, met the Local Board's surveyor to discuss a proposed improvement. At the board meeting shortly afterwards several members were supportive but in the end it was decided not to complete the work for the time being. The centre of Matlock Bath was to be dealt with first[13]. It wasn't until 1911 that the board agreed to tar spray the road between Masson Terrace and Harp Edge[14].


Clarke family
The Clarke family, from left to right.
On the terrace: Mrs. Frederica E Clarke, Frederick F (baby, known as Roy),
Mr. Thomas Clarke, Frederica M (Muriel, with doll), Emily G (Gwen),
Enid E F., Mr. Frank Clarke[?].
Below the terrace: Winifred H, Thomas H R (Cathrow).

Thomas Clarke put forward his name a number of times for election onto the local board, but was not always successful in being elected. He was first elected in 1894, but not seek re-election in 1898[15]. His family continued to grow and four children were born in Matlock Bath; others were born in Scarborough later in the 1890s although the birth announcements gave his wife as being "of Matlock Bath". They were all living in Derby in 1901. For a time advertisements to let Masson House implied Thomas was still the occupant and it is unclear quite when the family left.


the grounds 1
Masson House grounds, about 1891.
In 1886 the pleasure grounds were said to be "judiciously designed and
unsurpassed for exceptionally fine trees and shrubs, interspersed with which is a Rosarium
(containing the leading blooms), Fernery, Rockery, Aviary, all giving additional interest
to this property"[7].
When the household effects were for sale plants were also on offer and it was fortunate
for incoming occupants that most seem to have remained in the garden[16].
the grounds 2
Frederica and Thomas are posing behind an urn in the top photo and in
the second picture we can see Thomas, a guest and a gardener - whose head can
be seen over the hedge just behind the two men.

Mrs. Cbeywidden of Masson House advertised for servants in 1904[17]. The house was to let again in 1908, for a reasonable rent[18]. In 1909 Mr. Bertram Arkwright had taken Masson House but it announced he was moving to Duffield at the end of 1911[19], although he was still in residence in early 1912 as he attended a Hunt Ball.

At the beginning of the First World War the 2/5th West Yorkshires were billeted here[20] but by 1916 Mrs. Locke, the wife of Matlock Bath's only dentist who had previously lived at Woodland Terrace, was advertising it as a first class boarding establishment[21]. At various recruitment tribunals her husband was exempted from war service; at one point he was told to go and cultivate his garden for the war effort. Later on the Canadian Percy Goldsmith rented the Masson House garden for £6 per annum to grow potatoes to help feed the men at the Canadian Hospital at the Royal Hotel.[20]

Colonel Hubbersty died in 1915. Much of his estate was advertised for sale by his Executors, including his properties in Bonsall and Matlock, in 1919[22]. It is is unclear at present whether either Masson House or Masson Terrace were still part of his property portfolio.

When Mr. Locke built a new house closer to the Wapping in the inter war years he called it [New] Masson House, so Masson House was then referred to as Old Masson House. One of Locke's sons was to register Fluor Stone Ltd. at New Masson House in 1949[23].


1930s advertisement
Old Masson House, 1930s guest house in the Georgian building.
Quite a change from the rose trellises along the front of the house and the immaculate garden.


Patients visited Sidney William Daley Yates at Olde Masson House between 1935 and 1938. He was a Doctor of Science, a Chiropodist and a Herbalist. He subsequently moved to Chesterfield Road[24].

When offered for sale by Lymn and Lymn in 1939 the house was "now divided into three residences and grounds"[25]. The next time it was for sale, in 1949, it was advertised as one property, approached by "a private footway from the North and a carriageway on the South"[26]. There was no mention of the wine and beer cellars that were underneath the building in 1886[7]. Such things had fallen out of use.

The property in now Masson House Residential Care Home.



Masson Terrace


Masson Terrace
1 and 2 Masson Terrace, late 1920s.
The elderly couple enjoying the sunshine were John and Caroline Hatton[28].
 

Masson Terrace was a late eighteenth century three storey block of four houses, with stone quoins and lintels, situated on Derby Road below Masson House. The base of the walls was also constructed of local stone and there was a stone string course running across the facade below the windows as well as above the stone base to the walls. The architraves around the doorways were also constructed of stone and show marked similarities with the one around the front door of Masson House on the hillside above (see the first two images above).

Two houses shared the same front door, with a passageway running between them where there was an access door for each home. There were 6 - 7 rooms per household (1911 census). As can be seen here, the windows above the right hand doorway was blocked up and painted to suggest windows; this photo shows what seems to be brick under the paint. The blocked windows were only above the outer door of the northerly end of the block closest to the Wapping and the New Bath Hotel.

The row stood opposite the paper mill and the northern end of Masson Mill, facing Cat Tor. A 1790s drawing of the Mill and papermill (held by the Arkwright Society) shows Masson Terrace with a smaller house between it and the bottom of the drive up to Masson House[27]. There were eventually three cottages between this Terrace and the drive entrance, but there are few references in the early guide books to Masson House and not one for Masson Terrace.

It is unclear what purpose Masson Terrace was used for when it was first built, though by the 1841 census families lived at the properties.

When the House and the Terrace were sold to Mr. Hubbersty as one lot in 1886 (after Anne Clarke's death) the Terrace properties were also freehold. They had a yard at the back, and the occupants were Messrs. Nicholls, Power, Walker and Jordan[7].

Masson Terrace and the cottages next to it were demolished in the 1970s as the main road was widened and the big wall in front of Masson House was pushed back a little. Nowadays there is no trace of Masson Terrace, a building that had stood on Derby Road for over 180 years.



Mr. Clarke's House is mentioned in Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863, Chapter the Fourth. Matlock Dale (in the section below the image of the church).


1. Watercolour painting of Masson House, by F. K. B., 1890. provided by © Jo Fenwick collection
2, 3. 4. and 5. Family photographs of Masson House also provided by and © Jo Fenwick collection
6. Advertisement for Old Masson House (Georgian Guest House) from "The Matlocks, Derbyshire. Official Guide". Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published 1930s. © Ann Andrews collection.
7. Family photograph of Masson Terrace © Ann Andrews collection.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons, Limited. Bryan does not mention Masson Terrace, but it was built around the same time. Just to be clear, the paper mill in this part of the Dale and built by Shore and White pre-dated inclosure. See the Wolley Manuscripts Volume 6670 f.90d. That building was not called Masson ----.

[2] Ward, Reverend Richard (1818, 2nd ed.) "The Matlock, Buxton and Castleton Guide, containing concise accounts of these and other remarkable places ... in the ... County of Derby", Wirksworth in the Market Place by S. Glover, p.29

[3] Adam, W. (1838) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity. ..." London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row ; ... Mawe, Royal Museum, Matlock ; .... This was the first edition of his guide. He also described the property in the second edition, (see transcript of "Gem of the Peak", 1840 which described the house and its surroundings in the southern part of Matlock Bath.

[4] Adam Wolley's Will in held by TNA (PCC - PROB 11/1731/3).

[5] Adam Wolley and his wife are commemorated in St. Giles' Church Matlock. See a transcript of their MI and that of their elder daughter Mary (whose married surname had been changed to Wolley from Hurt). Also see Adam's 1827 burial | Anne's Wolley's 1849 burial | daughter Mary's 1845 burial at the church.

[6] References to Mrs. Anne Clarke include Her MIs at Holy Trinity C1 C2 | Lists Through the Centuries: Return of Owners of Land 1873 - Derbyshire | Laying Foundation stone at Scarthin Mission Church

[7] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 4 June 1886. George Marden's announcement that he was to sell Masson House at the New Bath Hotel on 24 June.

[8] The footman/footmen mentioned lived in the house : see various census returns: the 1851 census | the 1861 census | the 1871 census | the 1881 census |

[9] "The Derby Mercury", 30 June, 1886. Matlock Bath. Important Property Sale. The sale of the cottages raised a further £450.

[10] "Derbyshire Times", 10 November 1888. Matlock Bath. Complaints.

[11] "Derby Mercury" 2 January 1889.

[12] The family at Masson house in the 1891 census.

[13] "Derbyshire Times", 6 May 1893. Road needing improvement.

[14] "Derbyshire Courier", 25 July 1911. Tar Spraying (Matlock Bath Wants More of them (i.e. Trippers).

[15] References to his involvement with the Local Board were published in the "Derbyshire Courier", 22 December 1894 when he received 127 votes and was 3rd; Kelly's 1895 Directory (under Officials); the "Derby Mercury" 23 March 1898.

[16] "Derby Mercury", 28 July, 1886. Notice of Sale re household furniture, etc., of Masson House

[17] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 26 August 1904.

[18] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 8 August, 1908

[19] Mr. Arkwright's arrival and departure were announced in the "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 24 September 1909 and the "Belper News" 8 December 1911 respectively.

[20] Beresford, Charles (2007) "The Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War". Country Books/Ashridge Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8

[21] "Sheffield Independent" 11 April 1916. This was the first of many for that year.

[22] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal" 24 May 1919. The sale was to take place on 19 June. It is unclear at present whether the Masson House or the Masson Terrace properties were part of the sale, and, if so, who bought either of them.

[23] "Derby Daily Telegraph" 7 January 1949. The new company, "according to Jordan's Daily Register, to carry on the business of owners and workers of fluor spar, lead, limestone and other mines". The Wapping Mine is mentioned in a number of sources.

[24] "Derbyshire Times" 17 May 1935. This is one of a number of references to Mr. Daley-Yates at Masson House.

[25] "Derbyshire Times" 24 February 1939. It was "to be Sold at very reasonable figure". The 1939 Register indicates that it may have been subdivided as there were more than three households on the premises.

[26] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 28 May 1949.

[27] See the details of the book where this image is published: Scroll down to Charlton, Christopher and Buxton, Doreen (October 2019) "Matlock Bath - A perfectly romantic place", The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Educational Trust.

[28] " They had lived near the Arboretum in Derby but in 1916 there was a Zeppelin air raid near their home and a large crater appeared in the local park. They moved to Matlock Bath not long afterwards, living first at No. 7 Masson Terraces (the cottage at the bottom of the Masson House Drive). They quickly moved to Waterloo Road and then back to No. 2, where Caroline died.