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Matlock Bath: Temple Hotel
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Matlock Bath from the Temple House, 1810

Cumming's Old Bath Hotel

Museum Parade, Old Bath Terrace & the Heights, 1840

Matlock Bath: Letterheads of Local Businesses

New Bath Hotel (1)

Royal Hotel (1)

The Georgian[1] Temple Hotel was originally an annexe to the Old Bath Hotel[2]. The origins of the hotel's name could be from the workplace its founder, Mr. Anthony Lax Maynard - he was a barrister of the Inner Temple in London. He was also Clerk of the Peace in Derby for 60 years, passing away at his home in Chesterfield in July 1825, aged 83[3]. William Adam tells us that Maynard was one of the proprietors of the Old Bath Hotel and the two establishments were let to the same tenant for a number of years, which partly explains the confusion about where some of the guests stayed when they visited Matlock Bath. The Temple passed out of Maynard's hands about 1809.

It was said that the building's construction, and its thick walls, made it quieter than many hotels. One of the Dukes of Rutland is known to have stayed here[4].

To return to the hotel's name, an advertisement in 1773 announced that one "Joseph Fletcher, (Head-Waiter from the Tiltyard Coffee House, London) "begs leave to inform ... that he has taken over that house at Matlock Bath ... lately occupied by John Turner, Esq; commonly known by the name of Solomon's Temple, so called because of its fine Situation, elegant and neat Building; and also for its Command of the most pleasant and delightful Prospects at Matlock". The house had "good stabling and coach houses" and there were "late additional buildings, new and genteel furniture with good beds". Tea drinking in the afternoon, in the Coffee Room, was also advertised[5]. So it looks as if the suggestion regarding the Inner Temple being the source of the hotel's name was speculative.

Four years later the Temple was for sale. "A Freehold ESTATE, known by Solomon's Temple, desirably situate adjoining to Matlock-Bath, in the County of Derby ; consisting of a capital STONE DWELLING-HOUSE, genteelly finished, proper offices and Gardens and three acres of land, in the Possession of JOHN BARBER, Esq." was for sale, along with a "Proportion of the Manor" of Matlock[6].

In 1840 William Adam mentioned that the poet Lord George Byron had stayed at the Old Bath as a very young man[2] and he had been in Matlock Bath whilst unsuccessfully wooing Mary Chaworth[7], etching his name on a windowpane at the Temple for posterity[8]. Princess Victoria is said to have etched her name on a pane of glass in the drawing room on her visit in 1832[3].
Read a series of newspaper reports about the Visit of Princess Victoria & Her Mother, 1832.

Hotel and hillside
We can see from this postcard that the Temple had been built on a series of terraces to make best use
of its sloping site. Orchard Road forms the upper boundary on the hillside. Other properties shown include the
cottages of Crowpie Square (left, just above the centre). Behind the hotel, where the visitors car park is today, are a
number of old outbuildings. Those facing Temple Road have been demolished at some stage whereas the building that
backs onto West Bank remains today.

Ebenezer Rhodes wrote, in 1824, that "In addition to the inns there are many comfortable lodging houses, the principal of which is kept by a Mrs. Evans, and known by the name of the Temple. This excellent house stands in a retired situation on the side of the lower part of Masson, and is certainly one of the most delightful residences in the place. It is connected with the Old Bath by a spacious terrace carried along the side of the hill, which forms a most delightful promenade[9]". The promenade that Rhodes was describing was Temple Walk.

Mrs. Hester or Esther Evans (nee Shore) is listed at the Temple in early trade directories[10] and lived there with her son Walter Mather Shore Evans[11], an Attorney. She was the widow of Aneas or Eneas Evans who had died in 1813; the couple had married at Bakewell on 12 Nov 1792. By 1842 the directories described the Temple as a family hotel[10] and the Evans family were involved with running the hotel for most of the nineteenth century[12], often listed as "Hester Evans & Co."[10]. Esther Evans died in 1849, aged 82[13] and Walter died in 1876. His kinsman John inherited the hotel and lived there until his death in 1889[14]. "Later the estate was disposed of by auction and otherwise, the principal portion passing into the hands of Col. A Cantrell Hubbersty, and the rest into various hands"[15]. Towards the end of the century James Hand, James Haslem late of Bolton and then, a little later, John Barker were the licensees[16].

Temple Hotel, Matlock Bath
This view of the Temple Hotel is of interest to the web mistress because her father painted the
sign at the gable end. Hotel names were also painted on rooftops to make them more visible
from afar and the remnants of a rooftop sign at the Temple, possibly added in the 1930s,
can be seen in this picture. The hotel's exterior had been painted, with black surrounds
to the doors and windows and white walls.

The hotel's proprietors during the first half of the twentieth century included the Wheatcrofts, Mrs. Storey who had previously been at the Royal Hotel, George Ernest Putnam and Eric Moyes[17]. Mr. Moyes and his wife Adeline were there at the outbreak of the Second World War.

1903 advert
1903 advertisement, Ward Lock Guide when John Weaving was the Proprietor.
He was there by the time of the 1901 census.

1930s advert using top image
1930s advertisement, from the Official Matlock Guide when Astley & Tattersall were the hotel's Proprietors.

Mr. and Mrs. Trippett ran the Temple from the 1950s to at least the mid 1970s. Whilst this writer is unsure how long they kept it up, the couple very generously hosted several annual Christmas parties for local school children in the bar on the ground floor. The parties were considered a great treat at the time.

1968 ad
1968 Venetian Fete programme advertisement

The Temple from just below the Heights
The Temple Hotel, photographed in 2001.
It closed in 2018, was refurbished, and now provides 5 star holiday accommodation.

Lists Through the Centuries: Arrivals at Matlock Bath, 1820-1850. European Royal families and nobility, British politicians, academics, clergy, members of the British aristocracy and upper and middle classes of society. Some of them would have stayed at the Temple.

Matlock Bath: Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1955. Now includes one for the Temple Hotel.

1. "Temple Hotel, Matlock Bath". Ed. J. Burrows, Publishers, Artists, Printers, Cheltenham. Printed in Great Britain. Unused.
2. "Temple Hotel from the Cat Tor". Published by H. Coates, Wisbech, Nene Series, 2424. Not posted.
3. "Temple Hotel, Matlock Bath". No 27414 "Real Photograph" postcard, posted 15 May 1961. The message is unrelated to the card.
4. Advertisement from Ward Lock & Co's "Guide to Matlock, Dovedale, Etc.", Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (Guide Series 1903-4)
5. Advertisement published in "The Matlocks, Derbyshire. Official Guide" Issued by the Come to Derbyshire Association, published 1930s.
6. Advertisement from the 1968 Venetian Fete programme.
Images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this website):

[1] The hotel is not shown on the Inclosure Map (Inclosure Acts 1776 and 1780) but is thought to have been built shortly afterwards and was initially a private house.

[2] Adam, W. (1840) "The Gem of the Peak" - onsite part transcript.

[3] Information about his ownership of the hotel from "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 29 June 1918. His death was announced in the "Derby Mercury", 6 July 1825 and he was buried at Chesterfield Parish Church on 8 Jul 1825. His Will was PCC: Will of Anthony Lax Maynard of Chesterfield, Derbyshire PROB 11/1702/477, 29 August 1825.

[4] Adam, W. (1845) "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.

[5] The Derby Mercury, 6 August 1773 (one of several advertisements placed by Joseph Fletcher).

[6] The Derby Mercury, 31 January 1777. To be sold by Auction by Mr. Skinner at Garraway's Coffee House, Change Alley, London.

[7] Firth, J. B. (1908) "Highways and Byways in Derbyshire" MacMillan & Co., London

[8] Byron's etched verse is no longer part of a window. The pane was removed and placed in a display cabinet within the hotel. Unfortunately, it is no longer in one piece. Its current whereabouts is not known.

[9] Rhodes, Ebenezer (1824) "Peak Scenery" pub. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row.

[10] Various 19th century directories list the Temple as a lodging house but see Pigot's of 1842 for the first reference to it being an hotel.

[11] Walter was baptised at Cromford - see Strays.

[12] Esther and Walter Evans appear in several census returns : 1841 census | 1851 census | 1861 census | 1871 census | 1881 census. Also see Walter's name in Nineteenth Century - Game Duty Lists and the family's Wills - Pre-1858 Wills & Administrations, Surnames E

[13] Esther Evans was buried at St. Giles'. So were Aneas/Eneas and Walter.

[14] Sarah Evans, John's widow, transferred the licence in 1890 ("Derbyshire Courier", 19 Apr).

[15] Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons, Limited.

[16] James Hand is shown at the hotel in the 1891 census and was still there towards the end of 1893. James Haslem became the licensee in 1894 ("Derby Daily Telegraph", 18 May) and just over a year later. John Barker, late of Derby, was running the Temple (Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory).

[17] Mrs. Maria Wheatcroft can be found at the Temple in Kelly's Directory 1908 and Kelly's Directory 1912. S. F. Wheatcroft was there in 1916 (Kelly's Directory 1916). Mrs. Storey's name was in several newspaper advertisements 1919-22; she was the wife of George Storey - see Royal Hotel & Baths-(2). Mr. Putnam is listed in Kelly's 1928 Directory and Mr. Moyes in the 1939 Register.