St. John's Church peeps out from amongst the trees on the hillside
above the row of cottages and houses in Matlock Dale.
However, in early 1912 some of the people who lived in the Common
Wood cottages had a narrow escape when there was quite a
serious landslip at about 6 o'clock in the morning.
The Derby paper reported that the affected area of the Dale "is
situated well above the main roadway. ... Four villa residences
stand perched on the hillside below the Dale Church-road and it
was the embankment above the houses [that] gave way", with
the damage extending to about 20 feet in length. "Tons of
masonry crashed into the rear of the houses occupied by Messrs.
Frank Buckley and G. T. Smith and other parts of the embankment
were pushed out of position".
It was still dark when the landslip occurred and George Talbot
Smith, a book keeper working for a Matlock ironmonger, had been
asleep. His neighbour, Frank Buckley,had just gone to work,
having left by his front door. "Mr. Ernest Taylor, the owner of
the houses said accident partly due to wet weather and partly due
to some heavy traffic on the Dale Church road".