Party at Matlock Rectory
|People who lived in the Matlocks : Photographs,
Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
The four photographs below are from the album of Mrs. Robert Wildgoose
who lived at The Gables on Chesterfield Road and then at Stoneycroft,
the house she had built on Cavendish Road. The album now belongs
to the Ash family and was in the possession of Ray Ash's step-grandmother
Ash (Dora May Wheeldon before her marriage), who was for many
years companion and housekeeper to Mrs. Wildgoose at Stoneycroft.
A selection from the album is published here with kind permission
of Ray Ash.
The images you see here are reproduced from tiny amateur photographs,
three inches wide, which are also very faded. They really are quite
hard to date but from other photographs in the album were probably
been taken around 1900-1905, and maybe even slightly before that.
Unfortunately, Marian Wildgoose was not very good at putting dates
in her album, so some of the dates are only approximations. They
were certainly in the time of Reverend Canon James William Kewley,
for many years Rector of Matlock, as he appears in photographs
2 and 3 and probably in photograph 4.
The Rector and his sister hosted a number of garden parties at
the Rectory over the years. One in July 1900 was in aid of the
Foreign Mission Fund and £11 was collected.
The garden party shown in these photos could well have been the
one held in July 1902 when Canon and Miss Kewley provided tea
on the lawn for sixty or seventy members of the congregation and
parishioners. A visiting Colonial missionary gave a talk about
his work among the Maoris and the garden party was to raise money.
Among those present were the Rev. Charles Baker (Vicar of Matlock
Bath), the Rev. G. A. Grace, the Rev. Charles Campbell Nicholas
(the curate?), Mr. Joseph Sladen, Mr Henry Hadfield Cubley, Mr.
C. F. Cargill and Mr. W. Ellis.
Both events were held on a Monday, so might only have been attended
by the women in the parish.
1 Large group,
dressed in all their finery, enjoying a summer garden party at
the Rectory garden. Riber hillside is behind them.
Ray Ash comments that the women wearing dresses, as opposed to
blouses and skirts, in this series of photographs seems to be
a strong pointer to the photographs being taken just before or,
at the latest, in the very early in the Edwardian period when blouses
and skirts became more popular.
2 Canon Kewley, on the far right,
with his guests.
Matlock Rectory is the building behind the group,
which Pevsner describes as a late eighteenth century building.
The Rectory is in Old Matlock and is close to St. Giles' Church.
3 Taken from a similar position. Four Clergymen,
including Canon Kewley who is in the centre of the picture.
4 Guests strolling through the gardens on
what looks to be a beautiful summer day. Two ladies in the background have put up their parasols.
View even more about the church by clicking on the images below:
You may like to read more onsite information
of St Giles from 1300
Fundraising, 1886 - 1895: see Church Bazaar at Matlock, 1895
Image scans Copyright Ray Ash.
Research provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal
If you have any further information about the identity of anyone
in the photographs, or know who maintained the Rectory's gardens
at that time, we would like to know. Please contact both the web
Times and Chesterfield Herald", 14 July 1900.
 19 July 1902 - Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald
MATLOCK TOWN. Garden Party at the Rectory.
 Pevsner, N (1953) "The Buildings
of England, Derbyshire",
Penguin Books, London.