Matlock Bath residents saw their village change dramatically
during 1967 and 1968 when the A6 trunk road that passes through
the village was widened in the hope of alleviating the traffic
problems that were being experienced. This series of five
photographs of work in progress have been provided for this
website by Ken Smith and show how the road was re-aligned
close to the Jubilee Bridge. It involved pushing back the
Derwent and building the road over part of the river's original
This major engineering undertaking meant that several old
buildings along the length of the river, from the Jubilee
Bridge down to the Cromford boundary, were demolished.
The Devonshire Cafe (Devonshire
Hotel) and the Petrifying
Well, which had aroused the curiosity of tourists for
many many years, disappeared under the bulldozers.
The main road had been far too narrow for such a major thoroughfare.
Probably the worst bottleneck had been where the Devonshire
Cafe and some small shops stood. Large lorries had passed within
inches of their windows. If you look at the photograph immediately
below, these buildings were approximately where the line of
piles ends - running from almost opposite Hodgkinson's Hotel
to Rose Cottage.
The pretty wooden kiosk and ornate Edwardian turnstile at
the end of the Jubilee Bridge, shown above and in the third
photograph of this group, was another casualty and much of
the Promenade was covered with tarmac. During the tourist season
there had been a charge to cross the bridge and stroll along
the Lovers' Walks and the kiosk and turnstile had been beside
the bridge since shortly before 1910.
Julie Bunting's book shows a photograph, dated 1905, of the
kiosk and turnstile at the Promenade's entrance.