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. 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 but
by 1831 Henry Salkeld James Collingwood and his family were living
at Tor Cottage, as it was then known.
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.
Other inhabitants / owners include William Hurd Aldam, an Attorney,
who was here in 1862.
By 1881 George Stevenson, who was described as a Retired Grocer,
was living at the property.
The Stevensons were followed by the Tophams and
John H[olman] Hay, a Retired Civil Servant, was living at Tor
House by the turn of the century.
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.
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
the death of one of Mr. Collingwood's daughters
MI for two of the Collingwood daughters
MI for Mrs.
Wills of several members of the Ward family. Two mention
Mrs. Jane Collingwood.