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Matlock Bath: New Bath Hotel (6)
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18thc and 19thc Tour Guides have historical info about the New Bath

From the Heights of Abraham, 1866-78
(shows Clifton House)

Pavilion and Church, mid 1880s (Clifton Road Houses)

Cumberland Cavern

This is a very similar view to the previous two images of the New Bath Hotel. However, enlarging the image shows something not seen on other pictures. If you look carefully at the close up below (enlargement 1), showing the late 19th and early 20th century stone built houses on Clifton Road, there is a wooden hut just inside the pedestrian entrance to the Palais Royal grounds, which had a room at the back where someone lived. The gates into the grounds were removed during the second world war.

The photograph also provides a better view of the front of Dovedale House, which was often screened by the trees in the garden. The open grassy area, or group of small fields and allotments, opposite Lyndhurst and Barton Villas was not built on until 1974 when Holy Trinity Primary School moved from the Derby Road site. Matlock Bath school pupils tended gardens here in the 1940s and 1950s[1].

A path from Clifton Road winds up the hillside beside Dovedale House and follows the boundaries of the gardens and fields slightly higher up the hillside. It provided access to the Royal Cumberland Cavern (an old lead mine) and also connected to the higher part of the Wapping and then on to Upperwood. Visitors were able to reach the Speedwell Cavern and the Fluor Spar Cavern on the Heights of Jacob quite easily once they had climbed the hill. When the 20th century "trippers" visited the Cumberland Cavern they could often be heard commenting, extremely loudly, as they laboured up the pathway about how they would not like to live up such a hill![2] Clifton Road residents were, and still are, used to the gradient.

Enlargement 1. Clifton Road.

Houses on Clifton Road

The house names are, from left to right:
- Lower row: Birchwood, Garforth (previously Carnford), Lyndhurst (sd), Barton Villas/The Bartons (sd), Clifton House.
- Middle row, partly hidden by the other properties: Sunny Bank.
- Top row: Dovedale House, Glenside (sd), Rose Bank (sd), Springfield.
(sd)= semi detached property, all with three storeys.
Clifton House is the oldest property in the road and, of the houses we can see here, Birchwood was the most recently built.

Enlargement 2. The New Bath's roadhouse on the A6.

In 1919 heavy penalties were imposed on the licensee of the New Bath for permitting out of hours drinking. The bar was used for serving food and drink to the 200 guests at that time[3].
Behind the building we can see the pathway going towards the underground passage connecting the roadhouse and the hotel.
It is also mentioned on New Bath Hotel (2)
There is a later view of the building on New Bath Hotel (5)

Enlargement 3. The hotel's stables and coach houses.

When the hotel was advertised for sale at the end of the nineteenth century, advertisements stated that there was "stabling for 23 horses with rooms and lofts, coach houses, & c., harness room, piggery ..."[4] According to J. W. Boden, writing in 1912, "the New Bath Hotel and stables, and other outbuildings were built of it [i.e. tufa stone]; the latter are still existing, and are a good illustration of its adaptability as a building material, being easily worked, yet when combined with good mortar it forms a compact, durable substance, and resists the decomposing influences of the atmosphere"![5]

Sadly, the stables became derelict and were pulled down in the 1970s[6].

See FAQ: Tufa for a description of how tufa is formed.

There is more about the New Bath Hotel


"New Bath Hotel, Matlock" in the collection of and provided by and © Pauline Jordan.
Postcard published by Photochrom Co. Ltd., Tunbridge Wells For Trust Houses Ltd. Unposted
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] See Schools in Earlier Times

[2] From Pauline Jordan.

[3] "Belper News", 3 October 1919.

[4] "Derbyshire Times", 14 August 1895. George Marsden was selling "the widely known and commodious Old Licensed Freehold Hotel, known as the New Bath Hotel, having best the possible situation in the charming district of Matlock Bath, and being one the most widely known and best patronised".

[5] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 26 January 1912. Town and Country Gossip. The article was based on the local knowledge of Mr. J. W. Boden, who had kept the Ferry House prior to its demolition.

[6] With thanks to John Legge.