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Matlock: Starkholmes and Riber from a Path to High Tor
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1903 map of Riber

High Tor Grounds from Masson


Riber Castle & High Tor from Masson

The photograph for this postcard was taken from one of the footpaths on the southern side of High Tor. On the hillside below Riber Castle are a cluster of properties around the sharp bend at Wards End near the bottom of Riber Road, more easily seen in the second image, below. The first time Wards End was mentioned as an address in UK census returns was in 1871 when 14 homes were listed, with 17 in 1891 and 18 in 1901[1].

From newspapers published between 1935 and 1949, which is approximately the time this picture was taken, we learn the names of a few of the then residents. Wards End had been the home of the Maskerys for some years[2]. Another resident was Frank Barks who was fined for driving his motor cycling without a light in 1935[3]. This was the same year that a young farm labourer had an unfortunate accident whilst riding his bicycle down Riber Road in icy conditions[4].

Messrs. Repton, Hodgkinson and Allsop were occupying three cottages known "Falcon Cliff" in 1940[5] and George Blackham and his family were at Wards in 1944[6]. It had also been the home of Mr. R. Eglinton, a member of Derby and County Athletic and Cycling Club since its inauguration, and who had held the office of club president for the last four years of his life. He had been a runner until he reached the aged of 70 and he died, aged 74, in 1945[7].

Detail, showing Wards End, Starkholmes Road and Riber Road.
The long allotment field below Hy Brasail, owned for a time by J. J. Lynch, was laid out by this time[8].
It went down to Kincora, a bungalow on Starkholmes Road next door to the Post Office.
The field was retained by the Lynch family until it was sold in 2007.
There is a capped lead mine shaft toward the bottom of the allotment field[9].

"Picturesque Path to High Tor, Matlock, Peak District". [Don Lion Series] Empire View Productions, No.25.21. Real Photo by Charles M. Jamson (Copyright Empire View Productions, Doncaster). Not posted.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] Find the families who lived at Wards End in the 1871 census | the 1891 census | the 1901 census. The enumerator did provide Starkholmes as an address in the 1881 census, but not Wards End specifically.

[2] In the 1920s David Maskery was working for Joseph Allen. See: Joseph Allen and Sons Garage, Crown Square.

[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 10 April 1935.

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 23 December 1935. William Herring (18) was employed by Mr Swift of Riber Farm. He was found unconscious and with a fractured skull having lost control and had crashed into a wall.

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 2 August 1940.

[6] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 30 September 1944. Mr. Blackham had three young children. He was accidentally electrocuted whilst trying to remove a crow from power lines.

[7] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 31 May 1945. Mr Eglington died at Alveston.

[8] We first learn of allotments at this location from the "Derbyshire Times", 1 December 1928: "A little distance towards Starkholmes a residential gentleman lately laid out a meadow as allotments and all are let". They replaced earlier allotments (run by Matlock and Starkholmes Allotment Gardeners' Society), set up in the 1890s, that had been on the opposite side of the road. The allotments were still in demand in 2022 until the current landowner both returned the rents to those working them and then evicted his tenants. Since then the allotments have been surrounded by fencing and a digger has been working on the land.

[9] With thanks to Nick Lynch.