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Scarthin Nick : Staffordshire Row, 1905
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Staffordshire Row, nine houses in Scarthin
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Scarthin Nick
From Allen's Hill, 1892



The Southern Entrance to the Dale, 1900-1910
(Scarthin Rock)



The six houses of Staffordshire Row were built in the late eighteenth century[1]; the houses today are nos. 30 - 46 Water Lane and the listed buildings are part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.

Staffordshire Row is on the very edge of the ancient parish boundary of Matlock, on the road which goes to the Via Gellia and Bonsall and just below the junction with Chapel Hill. The houses were built of local gritstone and are believed to have been erected by Sir Richard Arkwright on land he had bought in 1784[1].

It is believed that Arkwright built the houses for workers in his mills[1]. Examination of some of the census returns[2] reveals that although members of the households may have worked in the local cotton mills, this wasn't necessarily the case with the heads of each household. For example, of the nine households in 1841 there were 3 labourers, 2 independents, 1 cotton spinner (Samuel Gould), 1 hatter and 2 lead miners[2]. In 1871 the occupations of the head of house for the nine households were butcher, coal merchant, cordwainer, day labourer, farmer, gardener, retired laundress and railway plate layer. In 1901 Herbert Gillott, one of the eight heads of house, worked in the mills as a cotton winding overlooker[2]. The other occupations were a coal carter, a clerk in a hosiery works, two Joiners/Carpenters and railway worker, house duties and someone living on means[2].

The Church, bottom right, is Scarthin Mission Church; it was a chapel of ease linked to Holy Trinity Church in Matlock Bath[3]. Another former place of worship was the large four storey building at the bottom of Chapel Hill, on the left of the Staffordshire Row houses. The building had been the Wesleyan Methodist chapel, with a schoolroom underneath, for over ninety years when it was sold in 1900[4]. The schoolroom was, for some time, used by the chapel to train their preachers[5]. In 1901 John Willn owned it; he was still at Chapel Hill when he passed away at the end of 1909[6].


Former Wesleyan Methodist chapel
with schoolroom underneath

"Staffordshire Row, Cromford". Published by G. W. W. of Aberdeen, in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] "The Derwent Valley Mills and their Communities" (2001), The Derwent Valley Mills Partnership, County Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3AG. ISBN 0-9541940-0-4, p.30.

[2] Census returns for the Matlocks were poor in providing exact addresses but Staffordshire Row is named in the 1841 census, the 1871 census and the 1901 census. One of the families was away in on the night of the 1901 census.

[3] See Churches and Chapels : Scarthin Mission Church

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 26 September 1908.

[5] There is more about this chapel in: Buxton, Doreen and Charlton, Christopher (November 2013) "Cromford Revisited", The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Educational Trust. ISBN 978-0-9541940-6-2

[6] John Willn was living on Chapel Hill in the 1881 census | the 1891 census | the 1901 census. He is listed in Kelly's Directory of 1912. However, he had died at Via Gellia House, aged 77, on 31st December 1909.