Bath: The Royal Museum Petrifying Well
|Matlock Bath : Twentieth Century Photographs,
Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
A few yards further down the road from the
Great Petrifying Well was another petrifaction premises. The
Royal Museum Petrifying Well was and run by the Smith family of Matlock
They also had a Spar and Marble Works and a shop opposite the well,
which sold items made from Blue John and other local stone. The
admission charge to their Petrifying Well was, for quite a while,
'One Penny'. A 1941 trade directory advertisement read: SMITH
WILLIAM, specialist worker in Blue John & spar ;
sole proprietor of the famous petrifying wells, Royal
Museum, South parade.
Below is a 1930s advertisement for Smith's Royal Museum and the
The petrifying wells were swept away when the road was widened,
something that had been discussed as early as 1931 but didn't actually
happen until the 1960s.
You may like to view more onsite information
of the Peak (1840) - read the section on "What to do in
1840" as there is more information about petrifying wells
Guide to Matlock ... , about 1869, p.16
see the transcript of Croston's "On Foot Through the Peak".
Chapter 14 provides an interesting description of the petrification
process (paras 5, 6 and 7)
Bath's Main Attractions
"The Royal Museum Petrifying Well, Matlock Bath". H. Coates,
Wisbech, Nene Series, Not posted but brief description written in
pencil on back, dated August 6th 1951.
Advertisement for Smith's Royal Museum from "The Matlocks, Derbyshire.
Official Guide" Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published
1930s. In the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
All research provided by and written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this
 The first Trades Directory entry found
for a member of the Smith family advertising as a spar and marble
worker is in Kelly's Directory
of 1864 (Smith Samuel, spar and marble worker)
 Kelly's Directory
of Derbyshire, 1941
 Derby Daily Telegraph, 8 December
1931: "the scheme, which includes the demolition of the famous
petrifying wells, for which new sites are to be arranged".