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Matlock: Willersley Castle, early 1900s
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Arkwright & His Cotton Mill

Engraving of Willersley Castle

In September 1905 Willersley's lawns were filled with the Arkwright family's tenants who had been invited to the celebrations marking the coming of age of Mr. Richard Alleyne Arkwright, the heir to the estate. Great preparations were made for the event and a large marquee was erected on the paddock in front of the Castle. Seven hundred of the tenantry from Cromford, Matlock, Wirksworth, Bonsall, Middleton and the Marple estate sat down to dinner (now known as lunch). During the afternoon the numbers swelled to eleven hundred as school children joined the tenants and they were all served tea[1].

The postcard dates from the early 1900s. It was taken in the wintertime as many of the trees are without their leaves and it looks as if the ground closest to the river is covered with a thin layer of frost. The seat below the wall was there for many years though it was, presumably, finally removed when the road was widened in the 1960s.

Willersley, Winter 2001.
Around a hundred years later.

1. "Willersley Castle, Matlockbath". Boots Cash Chemists "Pelham" Series. Posted 4 May 1907 in Matlock Bath and sent from Lilly to her Aunt A, a Miss Pinder. Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
2. Photograph of Willersley Castle © Andy Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only


[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 2 September 1905. Fete at Willersley Castle.