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Artists' Corner 1920s



In 1933 the High Tor Guest House was one of the new centres being used by the Youth Hostel Association[1]. When it first opened as such Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Barton, of London, were appointed resident wardens[2]. The myth that the house had been built by Admiral Lord Collingwood stems from this time[2] and took years to disprove[3].

The Grants began running the Guest House in 1933 and before the Second World War it was used for a variety of events, including as a holiday centre by the Derby Branch of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, hosting a weekend conference of the West Derbyshire Labour Party and a two day school for music leaders in choral work[4]. The property was still owned by Mr. and Mrs. Law at this time[5]. It is not clear whether Mr. and Mrs. Barton remained at the property and worked alongside the Grants or whether their association with it was very brief[5].

In January 1939 the 14-feet high retaining wall collapsed causing tons of rock, stone and earth to fall into the road and single-line traffic had to be introduced. Snow and frost were thought to be the cause of the collapse[6]. It was rebuilt by Derbyshire County Council[5]. The fencing on top of the wall dates from the Council rebuild. In the foreground, and on the right, is the suspension bridge over the Derwent.

The original railings can be seen in a stereo view card of High Tor elsewhere on this site.


"High Tor Guest House, Matlock". No publisher. Not posted.
Postcard in the collection of © Ann Andrews.
Written and researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

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

[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 5 May 1933. The County Hostels. The article's author, who was testing out various hostels, "took over the role of cook, this time with the aid of gas" when he or she visited the High Tor Guest House.
[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 25 January 1933.
[3] See Matlock : High Tor Guest House, 1945-50, which shows who built the property and who lived there. Whilst a gentleman called Henry Salkeld James Collingwood bought the property not long after it had been built he was not related to Lord Cuthbert Collingwood.
[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 29 March 1935, 28 January 1936 and 5 June 1937 respectively.
[5] Goodwyn, Colin (1998) "The History of Tor Cottage Matlock Dale", a privately published limited edition. Also see Matlock Modern School: Monthly Letter, March, 1935
[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 28 January 1939.