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Matlock Dale : High Tor Guest House, 1945-50
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High Tor Guest House, Matlock
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Chantrey's drawing, 1822


Four views of High Tor & Artists' Corner:










Here is a slightly unusual view of Tor Cottage (later the High Tor Guest House/Hotel) in Matlock Dale as the house is normally pictured against the backdrop of High Tor on the opposite side of the River Derwent[1]. The photographer is looking along the garden towards the south west of the building.

So who lived here in the nineteenth century? It was built by Colonel Edward Payne[2] but by 1831 Henry Salkeld James Collingwood and his family were living at Tor Cottage, as it was then known[3]. Despite stories that have circulated for at least 80 years this family are not descended from, nor are known to be related to, Admiral Lord Collingwood of The Battle of Trafalgar fame[4].

Other inhabitants / owners include William Hurd Aldam, an Attorney, who was here in 1862[5]. By 1881 George Stevenson, who was described as a Retired Grocer, was living at the property[6]. The Stevensons were followed by the Tophams[7] and John H[olman] Hay, a Retired Civil Servant, was living at Tor House by the turn of the century[8]. Trade directories of the time listed Tor Cottage as being in Matlock Bath but census returns record it as being part of Matlock. Colonel Thomas Stokes George Hugh Robertson-Aikman bought the property in 1901[9].

The property has been a private home, a lodging house, a guest house, an hotel and even a school (Matlock Modern School) in the almost 200 years since it was built.

Unfortunately, this postcard was never used so there is no helpful postmark to date it. Whilst the garden, sundial, trees and house painting all look pre-war, another feature excludes this as a possibility. Some photographs taken immediately post-war show some vigorous growth against the railing to the right and it is most likely, therefore, that this photograph was taken at that time. It was undoubtedly printed for Mr. and Mrs. Grant as they ran the High Tor Guest House then.


Elsewhere on this web site:
See H J Collingwood's name in Nineteenth Century - Game Duty Lists
Report of the death of one of Mr. Collingwood's daughters
MI for two of the Collingwood daughters
MI for Mrs. Collingwood
Pre-1858 Wills of several members of the Ward family. Two mention Mrs. Jane Collingwood.


Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only .
Information provided especially for this web site and researched by Colin Goodwyn and Ann Andrews.
Please get in touch if you are a descendant of the Collingwoods as Colin would like to hear from you

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

[1] See the postcards of Matlock Dale on this web site

[2] Adam, W. (1840) "The Gem of the Peak" London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row - see the section "The north entrance to Matlock Dale"

[3] "Pigot's Directory", 1831 (see Gentry), also the 1841 census entry for the family

[4] Admiral Lord Collingwood had two daughters, so the Matlock Collingwood's could not have been his descendants.
Sources of information:
i. PCC Will of The Right Honorable Cuthbert Baron Collingwood, 8 May 1810. Researched by the web mistress.
ii. Adams, Max (2005) "Admiral Collingwood Nelson's Own Hero", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London & Phoenix ISBN-13 9778-0-3043-6729-0 and ISBN-10 0-3043-6729-X.
iii. Lengthy research undertaken by Colin Goodwyn into the Collingwoods has not found any link to the family of Cuthbert Collingwood.
Also see Matlock: High Tor Guest House & Suspension Bridge which explains when the mistaken idea that Cuthbert Collingwood had owned the house was first aired.

[5] "General Commercial Directory and Topography of the Borough of Sheffield with all the Towns, Parishes, Villages and Hamlets Within a Circuit of Twenty Miles", pub. Francis White & Co. Sheffield (1862) - see on site transcript

[6] 1881 census - Stevenson

[7] 1891 census - Topham - Herbert was a Retired Surgeon

[8] 1901 census - Hay

[9] Derby Daily Telegraph, Aug 1901. Also see a family photograph in the Vernon Lamb Archive, VLA5101.