The limestone crags of High Tor tower over the River Derwent and
this is one of the most spectacular scenes in the county. This
stunning winter scene, photographed by the webmistress's late father,
reflects the description Ebenezer Rhodes wrote almost 200 years ago.
"This stupendous cliff ... to which the mass of wood, and
the deep silent stream that lay enveloped in a dark shadow in the
dale below, formed an imposing contrast".
The valley is at its narrowest here, and the equally high Masson
hill towers above the opposite side of the valley. Masson is considerably
higher than High Tor, but from below High Tor is the scene that
catches the eye. A century or more ago High Tor was known as Eagle
Crag because Fish Eagles used to nest here.
Another rare bird was to be found in the Museum Garden in the 1820s.
iron and wood suspension bridge, built in 1903, has now been demolished.
High Tor is popular with climbers and they are to be seen scaling
the rock face almost every weekend. The Derwent cuts through solid
rock at this point and canoeists practice obstacle courses here,
though more restful types of boating can be enjoyed in the centre
of Matlock Bath.