Shown here is a view of the southern part of the village of Matlock
Bath. The picture was taken at a time of great prosperity for
the village. Next to Holy Trinity
Church, almost in the centre of the picture, is the magnificent
but ill-fated Royal Hotel which was destroyed by a disastrous
fire in 1929. Just one wing survived the fire and remained standing
for a further 30 or so years. The wing was a later addition.
This is a lovely, clear view of the hotel, which was the pride
of the village and was built on the site of the Old Bath Hotel.
It was opened by the owner, Major John F Wieland, in 1878.
The Old Pavilion is the other very large building dominating the
hillside. Clifton Road, almost a question mark or a letter S, winds
up the hillside beside the church with the houses on it relatively
newly built. Portland
House, with its garage and mews, can be seen at the bottom
of the road. Behind it, half hidden from view, is Walker's Bath
Terrace Hotel (with a white end). The New Bath Hotel is a little
further along the terrace.
This enlargement, from another version of the card, shows the
Old Pavilion (Palais Royal).
It was set in beautifully landscaped gardens. The building
behind is believed to have been
used for sports.
The Switchback railway in the Derwent Gardens
is clearly visible in the foreground. In 1922 the gardens were
described as follows: "The
Derwent Pleasure Gardens are pleasantly situated on the banks
of the River Derwent and are furnished with seats and shelters
in the form of grottoes, and have a switchback railway, and in
the hot water ponds are fish from various species".
For quite a few years around this period Harold Buxton was the
proprietor, though he had been replaced by L. A. Hacket[t] and
J. Sutton by 1932.
The large triangular green field with the three
trees and the greeny-brown one next to it were known as the Cumberland
Field and visitors used to walk up the very steep path on the edge
of this field to visit the Cumberland Cavern when it was open to
the public. The line of trees at the top of the two fields show
the line of the 'Wappin', an ancient roadway which led up to Masson
and then over to Bonsall. Children from Holy Trinity School used
to walk up the Wappin from the Derby Road site to reach the Masson
Field where they played sports.
The original photograph for this hand tinted
postcard was probably taken from Cat Tor on the opposite bank of
the River Derwent. I would welcome a more accurate position if
anyone can provide it.
The following quotation describing the Royal Hotel has been taken
from 'Bemroses' Guide to Matlock,
Bakewell, Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, &c' by John Hicklin,
Third Edition, pub Bemrose and Sons, London (no date, but about
'In the year 1866, the picturesque situation of the Old
Bath, and the ancient celebrity of its springs, attracted the
attention of a number of visitors, who, in conjunction with
a few influential residents, formed themselves into a Company,
under the provisions of the Limited Liability Act, with a nominal
Capital of £25,000, for the purpose
of erecting on the site a new building, combining all the conveniences
and requisites of a first-class Hydropathic Establishment. In
furtherance of this design, Messrs. Whyatt and Redford of Manchester,
were engaged as the Architects, under whose direction a handsome
edifice has been built, after the domestic Gothic style of the
fourteenth century, with all adaptations to modem requirements,
and with a tasteful regard to its romantic position. The establishment
is divided into two departments; one consisting of the residential
portion, and the other appropriated to Thermal purposes; they
are connected by an enclosed corridor, intended to serve as
a conservatory and a promenade. In front of the building is
a terrace, under which are the kitchens, housekeeper's and other
rooms, connected with the domestic arrangements of the establishment.
On the ground-floor are the reception rooms, and apartments
for the stewards and physicians, dining hall, library, drawing
and private sitting rooms, lavatories, and other accommodations.
On the floors above are sixty-seven chambers, some of which
can be used for two beds, and are en suite with private
sitting rooms. A prospect tower, erected over the staircase,
affords grand views of the charming landscape. The approach
to the establishment for visitors, is by a carriage-porch on
the terrace. The Thermal arrangements include a large swimming-bath,
and a number of baths required for medicinal purposes.' (pp.18-19)'
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this
[a] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield
Herald", 7 September 1878. Matlock Bath. Opening of
the New Great Hotel.
 There is more information
about both Walker's
Bath Terrace Hotel and the New
Also see trade directory entries in
the site's Historical Records.
Directory of Derbyshire", 1922
There is more about the Switchback railway. See:
Bath: Derwent Gardens - The Switchback, (1) Rise & Fall.
The story of Matlock Bath's Switchback Railway, from the beginning
to its demise.
Bath: Derwent Gardens - The Switchback, (2) Adrenalin Rush.
 See About
Holy Trinity School.
You may like to view the following, which will open in a new window:
image (different card but same view)
the back: To Master Gill Hancock of London 10 Mar 1926
half size rear (PC)