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Matlock & Matlock Bath: Churches and Chapels
The mediaeval parish church of St. Giles was for centuries the only real place of worship in the Matlocks
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Related pages: Funeral Garlands at Matlock Church | Congregational Church Pastors | Rectors of Matlock St Giles
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The accidental breakdown of a carriage in 1777, the growth of Methodism in England and the expanding population during the nineteenth century saw church building, for a variety of denominations, take off in Matlock and Matlock Bath. Not all the churches or chapels listed here remain today and some buildings have changed their use.

The churches and chapels are discussed under the following sub headings (click the heading to navigate).
Unless the place of worship was present in the district before the beginning of WW2 there is no information here
as this is not intended to be a list of current religious establishments.

Matlock Churches & Chapels

Matlock Bath and Scarthin Churches & Chapels

Matlock was given as having
980 Conformists,
20 Nonconformists
and 0 Papists
in the return of
Papists and Nonconformist
in Derbyshire in 1677[1].

A Return was completed for
eleven places of worship in
Matlock, Matlock Bath,
Scarthin and Starkholmes in
The Religious Census of 1851

Churches & Chapels in Matlock, Riber and Starkholmes

Matlock's Churches in Kelly's Directory, 1891[1891]

C of E: St. Giles' Parish Church, Matlock Town, Rev. James William Kewley, rector
C of E: All Saints' Church, Matlock Bank, Rev. Adam Lowe, M.A., vicar
C of E Mission Rooms, Starkholmes
Catholic Church of Our Lady & St. Demas: Matlock Bank, served from St. Mary's, Derby
Society of Friends' Meeting House: Matlock Bank
Congregational: Matlock Bank, Rev. Valentine Ward, minister
Primitive Methodist: Matlock Bank, Rev. J. Dodson, minister
Primitive Methodist: Starkholmes, ministers various
United Methodist Free Church: Matlock Bridge, ministers various
United Methodist Free Church: Riber, ministers various
Wesleyan Methodist: Matlock Bank, Rev. Wm. Robinson, minister

St. Giles' Church

St. Giles' was the Parish Church for the whole of Matlock and Matlock Bath for many centuries - until the churches of Holy Trinity in Matlock Bath and, later, All Saints on Matlock Bank were built to meet the needs of the expanding population.

The church is in Matlock Town (Old Matlock). An 1848 Directory described St. Giles' church: "seated on a high rock, thickly planted, [it] is a neat building"[1848]. Considerably altered during the nineteenth century, it has a West Tower built in the Perpendicular style and a Norman font which was hidden in the Rectory gardens for many years; the font was discovered in the nineteenth century by the Rector, W. R. Melville[3]. Francis White's Directory of 1862 records that "a small organ was erected in 1844"[1862].

There is some lovely stained glass. The chancel's east window, given in memory of the Bailey family, was filled with modern glass in 1969; the design was by Mr. Lawrence Lee, A.R.C.A.[2] Another window, which was erected by Lady Paxton in 1859 and dedicated to the memory of her mother, is mentioned in several old books. It is no longer there (see Church Interior, about 1910-12). There are also some old tombs inside the church, including an altar tomb with an alabaster top under the west window. It is the tomb of Anthony Wolley of Riber[2].
About Riber

Photograph of St Giles' Church and part of the Churchyard
St Giles' Church and part of the Churchyard

J. Charles Cox, who wrote about the church in 1877, pointed out that the Domesday Survey did not mention a church at Matlock, though the fragments of Norman masonry outside the Church tower certainly indicate the existence of a church in the Norman period[3].

Whilst "the patronage or advowson of the rectories [of Matlock and Darley] appears to have been bestowed at an early date on the Dean of Lincoln", Cox had failed to find any deeds at Lincoln that related to the church at Matlock. What is known is that King Henry I, who reigned 1100-1135, gave Wirksworth a church and Cox says that it is probable Matlock's church "was built and presented in the reign of his successor Stephen", who reigned 1135-1154, as some of the masonry found (specifically, two capitals of pillars) points to these dates[3].

The rectory of Matlock was valued at £10 in 1291, when the Taxation Roll of Pope Nicholas IV was compiled[3]. Cox goes on to say that the account of the Dean of Lincoln's Derbyshire possessions, drawn up in 1310, mentions the church "as being in the Dean's patronage, but owing no pensions or dues to the Dean and Chapter"[3]. In 1925 W. N. Statham suggested this was probably because the Parish was in the diocese of Lichfield[4].

Photograph of St Giles' Church in Old Matlock
Photograph of St Giles' Church in Old Matlock © Ann Andrews

John Hicklin, in 1869, describes St. Giles as "an old embattled structure, having an ancient tower with pinnacles whimsically sculptured with grotesque gurgoyles [sic]. The interior consists of a nave, aisles, and chancel; the roof is arched, and covered with paintings, consisting of the four Evangelists and other scriptural and allegorical subjects"[5]. Five years earlier Francis White had said that the "ceiling is ornamented with rude paintings"[1862].

The church has been altered and rebuilt on several occasions in its history (see Matlock Old Church, 1870 & before). It was enlarged to accommodate about 140 more people in 1897-8 and was finished in time to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The architect was Percy H Currey of Derby and the work was undertaken by local tradesmen. The sum of £1000 was raised to pay for it all and the foundation stone laid at a ceremony performed by the Ven. Archdeacon of Derby[6].

The churchyard has been enlarged too, in 1897 and 1919[1932]. Almost a century before Pigot had commented that "in many places the graves are cut out of solid rock"[1829].

In July 1920 a War Memorial on the North Wall of the church was unveiled, commemorating the lives of 176 men. Canon Kewley conducted the service. It does not contain all the names of those commemorated on the Matlock war memorial which is close by but outside the church grounds, but does include three names that are not.

Churchyard, top gate and gravestones (including a CWGC headstone)
The Wheatsheaf, now Wheatsheaf House, is the large building behind the wall.
Both buildings have Grade II* listing today.

The registers, held at the Derbyshire Record Office, date from 1637[7].

Also see:
Rectors of St Giles, from 1300 to 1981+. Chronological list. Who they were.
Matlock Glebe Terrier, 1673
Matlock Glebe Terrier, 1722
Entry in Religious Census, 1851.
The Wolley Manuscripts.
Matlock Parish Church Baptisms, Marriages (including many witnesses) & Burials.
Matlock St Giles' Church Burials : Clerks' Books, 1819, 1842.
Notes about the baptisms and burials.
Notes about Phillimore's Marriage Indexes.
Explanation of the dates (old and new calendar).
Matlock & Matlock Bath: Inspiration of Poets. A poem by M. S. about the churchyard in 1874.

Memorial Inscriptions - a Surnames Index
Matlock St Giles, MIs in the Church
The Monument Inscriptions at St. Giles have been transcribed by the Derbyshire Ancestral Research Group (click link for more info)

Memorial Cards for Internments at St. Giles' and elsewhere: small collection of cards printed between 1889 and 1925.
(1), Surnames A-B, surnames Alsop, Bannister and Byard.
(2), Surnames C, surname Cooper.
(3), Surnames D-R, surnames Davis, Derbyshire, Fox, Hursthouse, Ridley.
(4), Surnames S-W, surnames Smith, Wildgoose, Wood and Woodhouse.

Fund Raising 1859, and a Bazaar for the Church, 1895

Ivor and Val Neal produced Indexes of the PR on CD ROM - Baptisms 1637-1837, Marriages 1637-1860, Burials 1637-1910 ... Although no longer available to purchase new, find out more

Information elsewhere on the Internet:
St. Giles' Church website

Funeral Garland at Matlock Church describes an ancient custom that accompanied the burial of a maiden
Matlock Old Church, 1870. Just before the church closed for major rebuilding
Matlock: St. Giles' Church, 1890s
St Giles' Church, about 1903
St. Giles' Parish Church, Matlock, before 1908, with a short description by J. Charles Cox written in 1915 and a little about the bells that were cast or recast in 1904.
Matlock: St. Giles' Church in the First Decade of the Twentieth Century. Having been enlarged in the late 1890s, work on the church continued.
St. Giles Church and Old Matlock, early 20th Century
St. Giles' Church and Green, 1914
Matlock: St. Giles Parish Church, Lych Gate.
Church Interior, 1898-1969
Canon Kewley & His Sisters
Garden Party at Matlock Rectory
Sunday School Picnic, about 1920
All Saints' Church

Photographed of All Saints Church, Matlock, DBY in early September. (c) Andy Andrews

Vicars have included[10]
Rev. Adam Lowe MA (Kelly's 1887), d. 1924.
Rev. James Bartlett Hyde B.A., d. 1926
(Kelly's 1912 | Kelly's 1916 & 1925. His son's name is on the War Memorial)
Rev. William Henry Nixon MA, T.D. (Kelly's 1932. In 1941 he was also the rural Dean)
Rev. W. W. H. Nash
Rev. John M. Carr
Rev. T. N. V. C. Rose Price
Rev. R. Davidson
Rev. B. Coleman
Rev. J. Goldsmith
Rev. I. Mitchell

Vernon Lamb Archive, 1914


As Matlock's population grew in the middle of the nineteenth century, and Matlock Bank had developed as a thriving community, there was a need for another church on the Bank. Rev. Adam Lowe, who had previously been at Alport, raised funds for the church and building began on Smedley Street in 1882. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on 31 July and contractor appointed to undertake the work was Thomas Beck of Matlock Bank.

All Saints', just along the road from Smedley's Hydro, was built of local sandstone and was finally opened for Easter 1884 with sittings for 300 persons[8]. The church was not consecrated at the time, though was opened for public worship by special licence. The building work remained unfinished as the chancel and half the nave had been built, but the west end was built up until more funds became available[9]. Some £3000 had already been spent although only half the sum had been raised.

The church was finally consecrated on 17 September 1884 by the Bishop of Southwell. The local press described is as a plain but very substantial building "on an eminence of about 800 feet - a beacon for a wide distance". Shortly afterwards it was announced that the Lichfield Diocesan Church Extension Society had donated a further £250, part of £400 to be paid, to the funds that had already been raised, almost all from local people[9].

On 6th April 1886 Queen Victoria, who was at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight at the time, signed the Order in Council - and the boundaries of the new parish were clearly defined. By 1903 Bryan commented that the building had already cost £5,000[8]. The architects, who did not see their design ever completely built, were T. H. and F. Healey.

The organ, built by Messrs., Forster and Andrews of Hull and dedicated in December 1886, was the gift of Mr. Joseph Cole of Southport.

Other gifts to the church included a stained glass window, dated 1905, designed by Morris and Co. and the Norwegian figured oak communion table and panelling in the sanctuary were erected in 1927, in memory of Adam Lowe who had done so much for the parish. The new altar and panelling were dedicated in 1928. A Lady chapel, commemorating those who had been killed in the First World War, was added in 1926[1932]. The oak parclose screens around the choir stalls were designed by W N Statham, and were presented in 1935 in memory of Annie Hodkin.

The photograph on the left was taken in early September. This view is of the newer west end which was added to slightly extend and complete the church in the late 1950's.

Baptism registers began in 1876, before the permanent church was built, as services were held in the schoolroom of All Saints' school. It was not licensed for marriages. The marriage registers date from 1886, when ecclesiastical parish was formed, and are held at the Derbyshire Record Office[7].

Biography of Adam Lowe

Fund Raising Bazaars for the Church, 1886 and 1890

Names from the inscriptions at All Saints' are included in
Memorial Inscriptions - a Surnames Index
There have been no burials at the church.

The burial and MI for Rev. Nixon can be found in Strays, Surnames N.

A book, A History of All Saints', by Ian Mitchell, is available to purchase from the church
All Saints' Church web site

Matlock Congregational Church

The first Congregational Chapel was built at the bottom of Lime Tree Hill, Matlock Green in 1848, opening in 1849 (see below). The Congregationalists had been a presence in Matlock since 1842[8].
Entry in the Religious Census, 1851

The Congregationalists later built a considerably larger church on Chesterfield Road, at the corner of Smedley Street, that had sittings for 500 people. It became the principal chapel, and the two shared a minister[8]. A Northampton architect, W. Hull, was responsible for the design of the Chesterfield Road chapel which cost about £2500, mostly given by church members. Three of the Stevens family donated £760, paying for the ground, the gallery, the tower and the spire. One Samuel Morley, who did not live locally, also made a sizeable donation[11].

The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 4 May 1865 by James Sidebottom of Manchester, another generous donor, and the opening services took place on 6 June, 1866. The church had been built in the Gothic style and had a tower and a spire. In common with several other Matlock churches it was described as being "on an eminence, commanding a beautiful and extensive prospect". There was a large stained glass window, underneath which was inscribed "Presented by Mrs. Hannah Cowen, 1866, in memory of beloved friends"[11]. There was a carved oak pulpit and the Sunday-school children gave a Bible and Hymn book. At one end there was a gallery, supported by iron pillars. The building was "heated with hot air" and lit by chandeliers. It was registered for marriages on 20 August 1867[12].

A Sunday school was built at the junction of Smedley Street and Chesterfield Road, following an appeal for funds in 1901[8].

The roof caught fire on 23 August 1969 and the church had to be demolished, at a cost of £450. The schoolroom was registered for solemnizing marriages on 18 March 1971 and the certification granted to the former church was cancelled at the same time. On 3 September 1971 the small Sanctuary was re-dedicated for Worship[12].

On 5 Oct 1972 the Congregational Church and the United Reformed Church merged. In November 1990 the Congregationalist and United Reformed worshippers finally vacated the site and on 1 May 1991 the marriages registration for Matlock United Reformed Church was cancelled[12]. The Congregationalists/United Reformers linked with the Trinity Methodist Church on Bank Road to become the Matlock Methodist and United Reformed Church (see below). The memorials were also moved to the Trinity Methodist site, some moving for the second time. The War Memorial transferred to St. Giles. The former schoolroom building is still used as a place of worship (see Other Places of Worship in Matlock below).

List of the Pastors (1852 - 1972)
Matlock Green Congregational Church Members Roll
Matlock United Reformed Church Deaths includes those from Church Members List 1867-1880 and the Deaths Register 1881-1926. Transcribed by the DARG.
Memorial Inscriptions, a Surnames Index

The Derbyshire Ancestral Research Group holds the following records, listed under "United Reformed Church":
Baptisms (1866-1922)
Marriages (1866)
Deaths (1881-1926). The deaths are now on site (linked above).
How to contact the Derbyshire Ancestral Research Group.

The Society of Genealogists holds copies of some of the records.

Matlock: Masson Hill from Chesterfield Road
Organ Recitals given by Harry Douglas, many in the Congregational Church

Farley Hill Congregational Church

Photograph of Farley Congregational Church, DBY
Farley Hill Congregational Church

Farley Hillside Congregational Church on Smedley Street West replaced an earlier chapel, The foundation stone was laid by Rev. J. B. Paton on 30th November 1901. The Chapel opened in 1902 and had seating for 300 people. It was registered for solemnizing marriages on the 27 December, 1904[12].

The photograph, below, was taken not long before the church was demolished and two houses were built on the plot. Memorials in the church were removed to other sites.


A Register is held at the Derbyshire Record Office[7].

Farley Hill Congregational Church
A few baptisms 1904 -1905
Two marriages, 1905 - 1906
Memorial Inscriptions Surnames Index

Farley Congregational Sunday School Treat, 1914 (third image down).

St. Joseph's (dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph)

Roman Catholics in Matlock celebrated mass in a house on Holt Lane from 1880 until their church was built. St. Joseph's, on Bank Road, was constructed of local stone and built by William Askew in late 1882 and early 1883. The foundation stone for the new church, designed in the Gothic style, was laid on Saturday 23 September 1882 by the Bishop of Nottingham, the Right Reverend Dr. Bagshaw, assisted by Canon McKenna of Derby and others. At the time it was estimated that it would cost about £2,000 and would seat 300 people[13]. A presbytery was added in 1896 following the purchase of more land. The chapel, on the north side, has a stained glass window depicting the Crucifixion. In 1903 Benjamin Bryan[8] described the Matlock church as a "mission" which was initially under St. Mary's, Derby. The church was originally dedicated to The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph[1887], it briefly became Our Lady & St. Demas[1891] but by 1895 it had been renamed at Our Lady and St. Joseph[1895].

The chapel, "being a building certified according to law as a place of meeting for religious worship", was registered for solemnizing marriages on the 29th May 1901[12]. The Rev. George Leroy was the first (known) priest in charge and he worked in Matlock from a little before 1895 until his death in 1920, aged 62. During the First World War Leroy, who was a Belgian by birth, worked extremely hard to help Belgian refugees.

St. Josephs
St. Joseph's, Bank Road
Another photo of St. Joseph's (2) (it will open in new window)

Other parish priests included
Rev. Aloysius C. V. Crowther (Kelly's 1925);
Rev. Charles Cossins (Kelly's 1928), who went to Australia in 1932;
Rev. Edward Hugh Atkinson (Kelly's 1932);
Rev. Cyril Restieaux, appointed 1936 (also in Kelly's 1941)
Recusant Fines, 1681-2

Father Leroy in WW1

VLA 5173
VLA 5174

Matlock Methodist and United Reformed Church, Bank Road

The Wesleyan Methodists have had a church in Matlock since 1840, when their first chapel was built on Snitterton Road (see Wesleyan Chapel, Matlock Bridge, below).
Entry in Religious Census, 1851

This stone built church, on a sloping site on Bank Road, dates from 1882 and replaced their first chapel on Snitterton Road (see below). Shortly after it opened the annual meeting of stewards and officers of the Wesleyan Circuit was held in the chapel. Their first business was to receive the newly appointed superintendent, the Rev. Joseph Higham. On 13th August, 1884, the Chapel was registered for solemnizing marriages, replacing the Wesleyan Chapel, Matlock Bridge (see below) as that chapel was no longer used for worship[12].

The church was built without a steeple and the tower and porch were added eighteen years later, with Horace G. Bradley designed the later additions. The building, which has schoolrooms underneath, has been extended in recent years.

Originally known as the Matlock Wesleyan Chapel, it then became the Trinity Methodist Church. Since 1990, when it combined with the United Reformed (formerly Congregational) Church on Chesterfield Road, it has been called the Matlock Methodist and United Reformed Church. The church was extended in the 1990s and the alterations included a new entrance onto Oak Road and changing the orientation of the sanctuary.

There is a poem, written in 1882, about the Laying of the Foundation Stone (scroll down).

Methodist and United Reformed Church
Methodist and United Reformed Church

Ministers have included
Rev. Thomas Rowson (Kelly 1887);
Rev. Edwin Dixon (Kelly 1895)
Rev. J Hawkins Pawlyn and Rev. H Norman Startup; Rev. Mark Davenport, supernumary (both in Kelly 1899)
Rev. John Woollerton (moved to Hinkley, 1906)
Rev. George Harbottle (supt.) ; Rev. Mark Davenport, supernumerary (both in Kelly 1908)
Rev. Edwin Gelder (supt) : Rev. Mark Davenport, supernumary (both in Kelly 1912)
Rev. George Dobson Mason (supt.) (Kelly 1916);
Rev. Ernest W. Trounson (Kelly 1932), plus 1934 and 1935;
Rev. W. Vere Coxon MA (Kelly 1941);
Rev. Bernard Lewis.
Matlock: Wesleyan Methodist Church, 1879 - plan
Matlock: Wesleyan Methodist Church, 1906 - the new spire
Design for the new porch and tower
Trinity Methodist Chapel Fayre
A fund raising event in the 1950s

Holdings at the Derbyshire Record Office for the Trinity Methodist Church include minutes, accounts, records of Sunday School and various societies, and miscellaneous papers (1841-1990).

Also see Matlock Congregational Church above
Memorial Transcripts for this church
Memorial Inscriptions Surnames Index

Matlock Methodist & United Reformed Church has a web site

United Methodist Church, Imperial Road

The first place of worship of the United Methodists, as "Free Methodists", was in the grounds of Smedley's Hydro[14] but they were not there long and in 1886 moved to the former Wesleyan Chapel at Matlock Bridge (see below) which had become vacant. Their trustees bought the premises the following year[15]. It was purchased by the Rev. R. Nicholson of the Bridge Hall (later the Town Hall)[15].

Construction of a new church on Imperial Road began in 1910 and the foundation stone was laid on 11 June by Sir James Duckworth of Rochdale[16]. The Church was completed in 1911 and was formally opened on 20 June by Charles Wardlow of Sheffield. It had cost £2,250 to build, just under half the sum provided from fund raising by the United Methodists. It was built of local stone in the late Gothic style with the spire covered in red Staffordshire tiles. There was seating for about 300 people, and the heating was "on the low pressure water system"[17].

The church was registered for solemnizing marriages from 3/4 May 1912 until 22 February 1966 when the registration was cancelled[12].

The former church in Imperial Road, next to what was the Town Hall bowling green, has not been used for religious purposes since then. The building is now known as the Imperial Rooms and used as a community centre.


The Derbyshire Record Office hold various records, including registers, magazines, minute books, financial records, and miscellaneous papers (1886-1967) and the Marriage Registers, 1913-64. The DRO Guide to Nonconformist Registers indicates they began in 1879, indicating that they started when the church was at Smedley's Hydro[14].

Ministers have included:
Rev. William H. Wheeldon (Kelly 1912);
Rev. J. W. Bleathman (Kelly 1916);
Rev. J. W. Jordan (Kelly 1932);
Rev. W. H. Parker (Kelly 1941)
Rev. Harold E. Hamblin (joined Sept 1949)[18]

Memorial Inscriptions Surnames Index

Photograph of The Imperial Rooms, Matlock, DBY
The Imperial Rooms.
The former United Methodist Church is the building on the left and its Sunday School is on the right.

Primitive Methodist Churches and Chapels

Matlock Bank
The first Primitive Methodist Church to be built in Matlock was situated on Bank Road, just below the junction with Smedley Street and opposite to Smedley's Hydro boiler house. It was founded in 1838 and rebuilt in 1865 by John Wildgoose. It had been designed by James Kerridge of Wisbech. The opening services were commenced on 20 February 1866. The schoolroom, where tea was provided afterwards, was reported as being full to overflowing[19].

On 19 January, 1875 the church was registered for solemnizing marriages[12]. The Sunday school, which is on the right of the church (see photo, right), was added in 1878. The Sunday school building has now been converted for residential use.
Entry in the Religious Census, 1851


Primitive Methodist Chapel, Bank Road, Matlock, DBY

Matlock Moor
Another Primitive Methodist Chapel, built of gritstone in the Gothic style, was erected on Matlock Moor in 1903 and is still in use.

Open air summer meetings had been held before the chapel was built. On Easter Monday 1903 the foundation stone was laid by George G. Blackwell, a Liverpool merchant, who immediately donated £100 towards the building fund. A bottle was placed under the stone; it contained several articles, including a copy of The Derbyshire Times[20].

The concluding "opening services" in connection with the new Church on were held on Sunday 31 August 1903. A Thanksgiving Meeting the following day at which the Rev. James Burton, Primitive Methodist Minister for the Matlock Circuit announced that the completed project was virtually free of debt. Altogether it had cost £780, including the building, furnishing and all the gifts. There had been generous donations. Mr. Hartley gave a similar amount to Mr. Blackwell; the land was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Statham, who wanted a Sunday School for their little girl; the architect's work was given by Mr. D. M. Wildgoose; J. W. Wildgoose gave the stone and the plumbing was done by Albert and F. H. Slater. Amongst the many items given to the Chapel was American organ that was donated by Frank G. Wildgoose[21].


Above the stained glass window is a sign that reads:
Primitive Methodist Church 1903

Blackwell's name is also on the foundation stone at Starkholmes, which was erected in 1905 and was built in memory of Luke William Fox. It seems to have replaced an earlier chapel at Ward's End, shown the 1891 census and on mid to late nineteenth century maps.

This earlier Primitive Methodist Chapel had been built on a sloping, "elevated" site in 1823 after a plot of land had been purchased from John Higgott, a Riber farmer, for £2 10s. A schoolroom was underneath the building. In 1870 a new schoolroom was erected and the chapel enlarged, costing about £160. The Duke of Devonshire "rendered substantial aid" and Lord G. H. Cavendish M.P., George Barton Esq of Jackson House, _ Wass Esq. of Lea, Mrs F. Hadfield and F. Arkwright were amongst those contributing[22]. In 1903 the Rev. James Burton of Matlock Bank was the officiating minister. There were 180 sittings and the church had an organ[8].
Entry in the Religious Census, 1851

During the afternoon of Saturday 19 August 1905 Mrs. John Wildgoose, of Oldham House, opened the new Primitive Methodist Church; she was presented with a silver key to open the door. The press reports described her as one of the oldest and most generous supporters of the cause the district[23].

On the 21st February 1944 the Fox Memorial Chapel at Starkholmes was registered for solemnizing marriages but on 17 January 1995 the Registrar General cancelled the registration as the church was no longer used as places of worship[12]. The building, opposite the Village Hall, has been converted into two homes.

In 1895 the minister at the Matlock Bank Church was Rev. A. L. Humphries. The superintendent minister served several churches that came under the Matlock Primitive Methodist Circuit, as is shown in the extracts from Kelly's Directory below:

Bank Road Primitive Methodist
Starkholmes Primitive Methodist (Fox Memorial Chapel, later Starkholmes Methodist)
Matlock Moor Primitive Methodist
Hackney Primitive Methodist*
*being built in 1912
  { 1912
{ 1916
{ 1925
{ 1928
{ 1932
{ 1941
  - R. J. Harriman Taylor M.A.
- Rev. John Bradbury
- Rev. Thomas B. Heward, supt.
- Rev. John B. Hardy, M. A., supt
- Rev. Thomas Greener Gardner, supt.
- Rev. John William Swarbrick, MA, B.D.

Starkholmes Methodist Baptisms 1881-1895
Memorial Inscriptions Surnames Index

Holdings at the Derbyshire Record Office for Bank Road and The Moor include minutes, accounts, records of Sunday School and various societies and miscellaneous papers, 1902-88.

Matlock Bank Primitive Methodist Church, "Young Men's Class" about 1904
Matlock Primitive Methodist Prize Choir of 1910/11
Primitive Methodist Church, Membership Cards

Wesleyan Chapel, Matlock Bridge

Kelly's Directory of 1848 records that "a neat Wesleyan chapel was built here in 1840, at a cost of £300"[1848], confirmed by the Religious Census of 1851.
Entry in the Religious Census, 1851

Mid and late nineteenth century maps show the chapel as being on Snitterton Road, then called Smithy Lane, part of the way up the hill. It is also recorded as a building in both the 1861 census and the 1881 census.

In 1859 the chapel was fitted with gas lamps: "On Sunday last two sermons were preached at the above chapel - that in the morning by Mr. Joseph Hodgkinson of Matlock Bath ; and that in the evening by Mr. Jno. Marriott of Matlock Bridge. Collections were made on the occasion towards defraying the expences incurred in the necessary fitting required for lighting up the chapel with gas ...[24]".

The chapel (as the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, situate at Matlock Bridge) was registered for solemnizing marriages on the 7th day of July, 1873. However, when the new Wesleyan Chapel on Bank-road was certified as a place of religious worship, in September 1884, the Snitterton Road chapel was no longer used for worship[12] and was put up for sale. In 1886 another group of Methodists moved in, this time the United Methodists who had vacated their church at Smedley's Hydro. The trustees of the United Methodist Free Church purchased the chapel and grounds the following year and the building[15] became known as the Free or United Methodist Chapel, Matlock Bridge[1887]. The United Methodists eventually built a church on Imperial Road and moved there in 1912 (see United Methodist Church, above). The building then became a laundry and was not used for religious purposes for the next 56 years until first the Christadelphians and later the Jehovah's Witnesses took it over.

See Kingdom Hall, below, in the section Other Places of Worship in Matlock.

St. John's Chapel

Mrs. Louisa Harris of The Rocks endowed this small chapel in memory of some of her relatives. It is a hidden gem of a church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It was built using a mixture of stone and brick and is on Cliff Road, between Cliff House and "The Rocks", so overlooks Matlock Dale and Artists' Corner. Technically, it is in the parish of Matlock Bath but was eventually willed to St. Giles'.

The renowned architect of the Arts and Crafts style Sir Guy Dawber, whose parents lived locally, designed the chapel in the 14th century Gothic style. St. John's was the only place of worship that he designed. The chapel has a really pretty oriel window and a small bell turret. The subject of the stained glass in the four lights of the east window is water; the chapel was built over a stream. The project was announced in August 1896[25] and the building was completed in 1897. It could seat 80 people.

St. John's Church, Cliff Road (2)
The church in the Dale, a few years after it was built. With a list of several of the chaplains. It is one of several images of the church. Also see St. John's (1) and St. John's (3).
St. John the Baptist Church, Interior

Also see "Just" Images: Matlock Dale - there's another postcard of St. John's

Mrs Harris was a member of the Leacroft family. See: See Pedigree of Leacroft
Onsite biography of Sir Guy Dawber
Have a look at the careful restoration work undertaken by Friends of Friendless Churches (external link)

  Image of St. John's, Matlock (c) Frank Clay
Image of St. John's is
reproduced here with the kind permission of the late Frank Clay
See Frank Clay, artist elsewhere
within The Andrews Pages

Other Places of Worship in Matlock

  • Congregational Chapel, Matlock Green
    Services had been conducted by the Rev. Newnes of Matlock Bath since 1842 before the chapel was built.
    Entry in the Religious Census, 1851
    The foundation stone of the Chapel was laid on Monday 15th May by Joseph Hodgson, Esq., Bakewell[26] and was opened on 13th September 1849[8]. It was registered for solemnising marriages on 26 May 1851[12]. The chapel and school, which the 1879 Ordnance Survey map shows were near the bottom of Lime Tree Road, had sittings for 300 persons. By February 1863 a new schoolroom had been built[27] and in 1866 a new Congregational Church was opened on Chesterfield Road (see above).

    The chapel roof can just be seen behind the houses at the bottom of Lime Tree Road in this 1914 image on the left. Click on the image and you can see the postcard this has been found on.

  • Wesleyan Methodist Reformed, Preaching Room, Matlock Bridge
    Entry in the Religious Census, 1851
    White's Directory of 1857 and 1862 state that "... the Wesleyan Reformers [have] a small chapel at Matlock Bridge"[1857/62] but its location is not known at present. However, it is known that it was in the 1851 census district 7b and careful examination of that census shows only a few properties, beginning with what is now Matlock Library but then the home of Mrs. Nuttall to partly down Bakewell Road where the old Crown Hotel was.
    See the section of the 1851 census, beginning with Mrs. Nuttall's home.

  • Society of Friends Meeting House, Matlock Bank
    The Quaker Meeting House used to be on the north side Jackson Road, on what is today the corner of Jackson Tor Road. It was built in 1867/8 on land owned by F. T. Howitt of Heanor. The building occupied about 300 square yards, with a frontage of 90 feet. It is first listed in trade directories in 1876 and then from 1887 onwards to 1908 | 1912 | 1916 | 1928. It was certified as a place of worship on 19 November 1908. In April 1924 there was announcement of the forthcoming sale of the Friends Meeting House, to be held on Apr 30. On 29 March 1933 the certification was cancelled as it was no longer a place of worship[12] The building was later used by Torside Hall, but is now a private house.
    Some of the Bunting family, who were Quakers, emigrated to the United States later in the seventeeth century. They were baptised at the parish church, as were all Quakers, but did not marry there and were buried elsewhere.
    Quaker meetings took place in Matlock from the 1720s. However, there is evidence to suggest that meetings were held in private homes at least fifty years before then and some of their dwellings were eventually registered.

    Recusant Fines, 1681-2 (nobody was fined for being a Quaker).
    The Toleration Act - registration of dwellings.
    Society of Friends, Marriages

    Earlier emigrants to the United States included members of the Bowne family. Whilst their religious leanings are unknown before they emigrated and it was too early for them to be known as Quakers anyway, John Bowne of Long Island stood up for religious freedom and eventually became a Quaker.
    See Bowne, John

  • Christadelphian Meeting Room, Smedley Street Central
    Christadelphian is from the Greek for Brethren in Christ. The sect first appears in Matlock Directories in Kelly 1908, then in 1912 | 1916 ... 1941. The Christadelphians moved Ruskin Hall, in the grounds of the former High Tor Hotel at some time before 1960 and moved again, this time to the former Heather Laundry building on Snitterton Road (previously the Wesleyan Chapel), in the late 1960s. The Jehovah's witnesses followed on from them in 1975.

  • Plymouth Brethren
    Meetings were initially held in their meeting room on Smedley Street West (Kelly's 1928) but they then moved to Jackson Road (Kelly 1932, 1941[1932/41]).

  • Assembly of God
    They first worshipped at Torside Hall on Jackson Road which had opened in or before Jan 1926. This Hall was registered for solemnising marriages on 15th May 1933 (a "separate building", according to the London Gazette), although this was cancelled on 30 October 1985[12]. On 16 October 1986 a further notice in the London Gazette announced that "A building certified for worship named TORSIDE HALL, Jackson Road, Matlock in the registration district of Bakewell in the Non-Metropolitan County of Derbyshire was on 18th September 1986 registered for solemnising marriages therein pursuant to section 41 of the Marriage Act 1949 as amended by Section 1 (1) of the Marriage Acts Amendment Act 1958.[12]" On 30 September 1992 this registration was cancelled as they were no longer on Jackson Road[12]. Their new place of worship, at Main Hall, 29 Chesterfield Road Chesterfield Road, was certified for marriages on that date. This was the building that had formerly been the Sunday School of the Congregational Church.

  • Smedley's United Methodist Free Chapel, Smedley's Hydro

    The building, erected by John Smedley within the grounds of his hydro, was used as a place of worship for a relatively short time. It closed for worship in 1886, and the congregation moved to the former Wesleyan Chapel at Matlock Bridge (see above). The trustees of the United Methodist Free Church bought the Snitterton Road chapel building on for £500 a year later, in 1887. The United Methodists were to move again in 1912, to their new church on Imperial Road (see above).

  • Kingdom Hall
    The Jehovah's Witnesses had previously converted two older buildings in Matlock for worship before moving into their purpose built new premises on Matlock Bank in recent years. On 16th February 1957 they were certified to worship at Horseshoe Yard, Matlock Green, Matlock; this was cancelled on 22 April 1975 as Kingdom Hall had moved to 31 Snitterton Road and was registered for solemnising marriages there on 13th February 1975[12]. They took over a building that had been been used as a laundry for a long time (Heather? Laundry), but had previously been a chapel.
    The new building on Bank Road was certified for worship and registered for solemnising marriages in lieu of Kingdom Hall, 31 Snitterton Road on 11 February 2008[12]. Planning permission was granted in early 2008 to convert the Snitterton Road property into flats[28].
    See Wesleyan Chapel, Matlock Bridge, above.

  • Gospel Meeting Room, Tram Depot[1925]

  • Tor Side Hall, Jackson Road
    The Hall was registered for solemnizing marriages on the 15th May, 1933[12] in the former Society of Friends Meeting House. This registration was cancelled on 14th October 1985 as it was no longer used as a place of worship[12]. However, a further notice appeared in the London Gazette registering solemnising marriages from 16th September 1986[12]. A final notice registered the Assembly of God Church, Main Hall, 29 Chesterfield Road, for solemnising marriages from 10th September 1992 (the former Congregational schoolroom). This was in lieu of Torside Hall in Jackson Road, described as "now disused and the registration cancelled thereof"[12].

Churches & Chapels in Matlock Bath and Scarthin

Matlock Bath's Churches in Kelly's Directory, 1891[1891]

C of E: Holy Trinity Church, Rev. Charles Baker, vicar
Scarthin Mission Church
Congregational: Rev. Frank Robert Bellamy, minister
Primitive Methodist: Scarthin, ministers various
Primitive Methodist: Scarthin row, ministers various
Primitive Methodist: Mission Room, ministers various
Wesleyan: Derwent Parade, Rev. Alfred John Silcox, minister
Wesleyan: Scarthin, ministers various

Holy Trinity Church

From : "Black's Guide to Derbyshire" (1888), A & C Black, Edinburgh

Opened in October 1842, the church is stone built in a cruciform shape with a tall spire and is in the Early Decorated Gothic style. It is situated beside the road to Cromford between what was then the Old Bath and the New Bath. Designed by Weightman and Hadfield, it cost £2,250 to build and the living was a perpetual curacy. The Archdeacon of Derby, Ven Walter Shirley, laid the foundation stone on 9 June 1841 and the Bishop of Hereford, acting for the Bishop of Lichfield, consecrated the church on Tuesday 4th October 1842[29].

Matlock Bath had expanded considerably and the new church would have met the needs of the growing population as well as catering for the summer visitors. Before this time the parish church was at Matlock - St. Giles' Church - which was approximately two miles away, and the only other religious establishment in the village was the Glenorchy (Congregational) Chapel.

George Withers Saxton (1798-1862), the proprietor of the Old Bath Hotel, took a leading role in ensuring that a church was built in the village and he was instrumental in raising voluntary contributions towards the building costs. There is a marble tablet over the north door of the nave honouring Mr. Saxton's hard work for the parish.
The MI is onsite.
Edward Beaumont, who resided at Mr. Saxton's Hotel, was a generous contributor.

The church is unusual in that it not oriented east to west, because of the limitations of the site, but is aligned almost north to south on the tufa shelf, with the altar pointing southwards. The original building "consisted of a nave of three bays, transepts and a chancel, with a tower and spire at the west end"[8]. Francis White described the interior in 1862. "The transept, and down each side of the body are neatly pewed, to seat 300 persons, while the centre is fitted up with comfortable benches, as free sittings, for 150. A capacious font, of elegant design, carved out of gritstone, stands near the western entrance"[1862].

The alterations of 1873/4, designed by the architect T. E. Streatfield, were approved at a Vestry Meeting in 1872 and the work was undertaken by Mr. Statham of Matlock[31]. The chancel, with a new reredos, was extended and a north aisle was added. The organ gallery on the first floor of the tower was taken down at that time[8]. In more recent times there has been both refurbishment and changes to the interior of the church.

The living was in the patronage of trustees. In 1857 the trustees were Rev. Phillip Gell, Rev. H. W. Plumtre, Rev. W. C. Wilson, Rev. Archdeacon Thomas Hill and Robert Ramsden Esq.[1857]

The stone built Parsonage House was erected in 1847, costing £1,600 which was raised by subscriptions, a grant from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of £521 and the Lichfield Church Extension Society gave £200.
Matlock Bath & Scarthin Newspaper Cuttings, 1883 has a short article about the former Vicarage, when it was a less than sanitary home for the Vicar.
Matlock and Matlock Bath: Public Notices and Announcements, 1874 has details of an auction when Rev. Pelly left the property.

A gift of land in 1899 to the south east of the church meant the churchyard could be extended. It had to be drained and fenced, and the land was consecrated on 12 Jul 1900[8]. Another gift in 1899 was from John Edward Lawton, Chairman of the Urban District Council. He provided a peal of eight hemispherical bells as there had only been one bell in the church tower, cast by Mears, before then[8].

In 1921 Rev. Davies appealed for help to build a Parochial Hall in the parish. The centrally heated hall opened on Dale Road in early 1924; it had been designed by Mr. W. Jaffrey and built by W. Marsden of Youlgreave[30]. The building is no longer owned by the church.

The parish register for Holy Trinity Church dates from 1843 and some of the registers are held at the Derbyshire Record Office[7].

There are a small number of extracts from the PR on this web site:
Matlock Bath Holy Trinity Banns, from 1846
Matlock Bath Holy Trinity Burials, 1845-1866, a selection

Entry in Religious Census, 1851

Holy Trinity Memorials and Inscriptions are on site:
MIs in the churchyard
MIs in the church
If you want to find the grave see Finding the Churchyard Inscriptions
Also see the Surnames Index for the whole of Matlock.

Although Matlock St Giles was the parish church for Matlock Bath before Holy Trinity was built, Matlock Bath people also used Wirksworth and Bonsall churches and it is advisable to check those registers. There are several MI's for Matlock and Matlock Bath residents in Bonsall St. James churchyard, and a few in Crich and Youlgreave.
Derbyshire Family History Society have published transcripts of the memorial inscriptions for Holy Trinity and other local churches (available on microfiche).
More about Bonsall

Ministers have included
Rev. W. G. Barker | Rev. Edward Synge
Rev. J. M. Maynard - see MI
Rev. Charles Evans
Rev. Walter Webb Woodhouse
Rev. Raymond P. Pelly
Rev. Edward Latham - see MI
Rev. Charles Baker - see his widow's MI
Rev. William Asquith
Rev. Edward J. M. Davies
Rev. Clement Thomas Walker
Rev. Alfred Phibbs
Rev. William G. Lee
Rev. Norman B. Johnson
Rev. L. E. Waghorn
Rev. H. E. Brown
Rev. James Song
Rev. H. Collard P in C
See the inscriptions taken from the boards inside the church for more information
Holy Trinity Church, 1905
Holy Trinity Church,1907
Holy Trinity Church Interior,1907
Holy Trinity Church, 1940s
Holy Trinity Choir, Procession of Witness, 1935 (eleven photos)
The first vicarage

See Stereoview of 'Matlock Church', 1867 "in the Just Images" section. Whilst the stereoview is labelled Matlock, itt clearly shows Holy Trinity.

Scarthin Mission Church

The Rev. Walter W. Woodward, vicar of Matlock Bath, had discovered that the people who lived at Scarthin, "because of distance and their habits, were practically cut off from the ministrations of the Church of England[32]". He appealed to the gentry for "assistance to build a free church entirely for the poor, and to be entirely free and unappropriated[32]". The church spent several months assessing the hamlet's response to the idea by holding a twice weekly service in the Temperance Hall. Plans were available to be seen at the Parsonage house in Matlock Bath from 26th June to 3rd July 1868, with tenders from prospective builders were to be submitted four days later.

The foundation stone of the Mission Church was laid on Wednesday 5 August 1868 by Mrs. Charles Clarke of Matlock. "Underneath the stone was deposited a hermetically sealed glass vessel containing several local papers and a very few small coins[32]". It also included a parchment describing the event and naming Mrs. Clarke, the vicar, architect, builders and Robert Chadwick and Edward Greenhough, who were the churchwardens of Holy Trinity.

The architect was Mr. John A. Whyatt of Manchester, who also designed Matlock Bath's Royal Hotel. He described the design as being Early English style (15th century). It was expected to cost 1.300l. [£1,300], including the cost of the land. The building was irregular in form because of the site's shape, with a nave, hexagonal chancel, a north transept and minister's vestry and had "hot-water apparatus" underneath. There was a bell turret over the entrance and a slated porch; it was designed to seat 200 people although at the stone laying it was said there were to be 150 seats, "all free". Inside there were stained and varnished open benches for the congregation to sit on. The builders were James and Joseph Walker of Wirksworth[32]. A wooden reredos screen, inlaid with zinc tablets and richly illuminated, was added in 1870[33].

The Mission Church or chapel of ease was linked to Holy Trinity Church (Church of England) and the vicar officiated at the services held here, the first of which was held on 8 April 1869. There was a memorial in the church to one of the vicars.
See MI for Rev. Edward Latham (1834-83)

It was announced in 1918 that James C. Arkwright, a grandson of Sir Richard Arkwright, had left the sum of £1000 per annum, in trust, to pay the income to the vicar of Holy Trinity Church for services in this church[34].

The building, at the end of Water Lane on the road towards Bonsall and opposite the old flour mill, is no longer a church - it is used as a garage. It can be seen, when still used as a church, in the 1905 postcard of Staffordshire Row and Chapel Hill (click on image).

Also see Memorial Inscriptions Surnames Index (foundation stone)

Glenorchy (Congregational) Independent Chapel

Matlock Bath's Independent Chapel was demolished for road widening in 1965, but was just to the south of Masson Mill, between the river Derwent and the road. The foundation stone was rescued from the demolitionists and is now built into the wall of the drive to Masson House.

The building dated from 1777 and was originally a chapel for about 300 people, with a private residence attached. It was built by Mr. Samuel Need of Nottingham, Sir Richard Arkwright's partner. An infant school was attached to the chapel[1848]; this was for Sunday scholars and was held in a large room[1862]. Francis White described the building as a "plain brick edifice"[1862].

Taken from "The Long and Winding Road", an article published in Reflections magazine
and reproduced elsewhere on this website. The chapel is the back portion of the building

The story of how it became the chapel for the Independents is an interesting one. In 1784 Willielma, Viscountess Glenorchy, who a deeply religious lady, was passing through the Bath when her carriage broke down and needed to be repaired. Whilst she was waiting Lady Glenorchy enquired about places of worship in the locality. Finding there was nowhere she considered suitable, she decided to buy the chapel and its house from Arkwright as a place for the Independents to worship. It is said that she intended to live in the house, but she died not long afterwards and is buried in Edinburgh. However, she left the property to Reverend Jonathan Scott who became the minister. It later became the property of the Wilson family.
See Biography of Willielma, Viscountess Glenorchy (Campbell).

Amongst its early subscribers were four members of the Fox family (George, Micah, John and Susannah), William and Mary Potter, Robert Nall, Robert Britland, Robert Gibson and George Higton.

Stuart Flint writes that Middleton-by-Wirksworth's Congregational Church was built in 1786 under the supervision of Reverend Jonathan Scott when Scott was the minister at Matlock Bath[35].

Heather King, a church member in Exmouth, has told me that Lady Glenorchy founded several churches. The original chapel in Exmouth was set up in 1777, and this is depicted on the church's old Sunday School banner! She also set up chapels in Edinburgh, Carlisle, and Workington, Cumberland; after her death another chapel was set up in Bristol in her memory. It appears that the Exmouth and Matlock chapels were the only ones known as "Glenorchy". Glenorchy Exmouth is the only survivor, though the building isn't the original one, and now has a membership of over 100. They celebrated their 225 anniversary during the first weekend of October 2002.

Marriages took place at the Independent Chapel for over 100 years as it was registered for solemnizing marriages from the 3 October 1837 until 29 August 1951 when the registry was formally cancelled because the Chapel was "no longer used as a Place of Meeting for religious worship"[12]. Post 1837 marriages at the Independent Chapel give the address for the church at "Independent Chapel, Matlock" on marriage certificates; to avoid confusion about this readers should understand that there was no Independent Chapel in the town of Matlock itself and "Independent Chapel, Matlock" marriages took place at Glenorchy.

There were no burials at Glenorchy - you can see from the photograph above that the building was next to the road and on the other side was the River Derwent. So burials for Glenorchy worshippers took place elsewhere. For example, two of the ministers and others who worshipped at the church were buried at and commemorated on memorials at Holy Trinity Church.

Ministers included
Rev. Joseph Whitehead - 1790[36]
Rev. Jonathan Scott - 1794
Rev. John Wilson[36] - 1807 (d. 2 Apr 1832)
Rev. Robert Littler[36] - 1831 (d. 27 Oct 1870) (Pigot's 1831)
Rev. Mr. Thomas Perkins - 1841 (Gem of the Peak)
Rev. T. M. Newnes (White's 1852)
Rev. W. Tiler, pastor (White's 1857 & 1862);
Rev. Frank Robert Bellamy (1864-1906) - see MI;
Rev. Enoch Doughty Solomon (1907-1913) - see MI;
Rev. John Charles Easterbrook[37];
Rev. E. Tongue[38]:
Rev W. Smart (Kelly 1932 & 1942)

In 1914 Mrs. Stevens, the daughter of Rev. Newnes, "opened a new organ at the Church".

The following refers to the anniversary celebrations for Rev. Easterbrook, the pastor, in 1917:

"On Monday a public celebration was held in the Schoolroom, and Mr. S. Sprinthall, the veteran of the denomination, who presided, said how glad they all were to witness the residence there of their beloved Pastor, the Rev. J. C. Easterbrook. He looked back over a long term of years' connection with that church, ...[37]"


There used to be a memorial in the chapel commemorating those who died in WW1.
There is a transcript on this web site

The Derbyshire Record Office now holds the church record book (1864 - 1972).
How to Contact Derbyshire Record Office

Transcripts of Baptisms, 1785-1836 are onsite.
These are held by the DARG - see their contact details
The Society of Genealogists also have copies of these records.

Entry in the Religious Census, 1851
Matlock Bath: Glenorchy Independent Chapel Members

Further reading for those interested in Lady Glenorchy:

Jones, T. S. D.D. (1822) The Life of ... Willielma, Viscountess Glenorchy, Edinburgh.

Thompson, D. P. (1967) "Lady Glenorchy and her Churches: the story of two hundred years, etc." [see British Library Catalogue][28]

Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 3 - look under Campbell, Willielma, Viscountess Glenorchy (1741 - 1786).

Wesleyan Methodist Church - Derwent Terrace and Scarthin Nick

The stone built Chapel on Derwent Terrace, North Parade, opened on 13 February, 1867. The new building had been designed by Henry Fuller of Manchester. Prior to this time the Wesleyans had worshipped in an upper room of a house on Museum Parade.
Entry in the Religious Census, 1851

A glowing account of the opening appeared in the local press:
"We have the gratification of recording the first of a series of religious services appointed to celebrate the completion and dedication of a tasteful and capacious Wesleyan Chapel, which has been erected in Matlock Bath, standing in the midst of scenery which is celebrated all the world over for its unrivalled loveliness and grandeur. On Wednesday last, Mr. Rattenbury, from London, preached twice in the is chapel. The weather was most propitious for the occasion. ... We must say a word about the chapel, which is most capacious, cheerful and comfortable. The roof is tastefully decorated, and the internal fittings are very neat and elegant. The building, which is adorned by a tower and a spire, is in the centre of the Derwent Parade, and in perfect harmony with its beautiful and romantic surroundings. The edifice altogether is an honour to the Matlock people ... The proceeds of the collection and tea, which followed the services, amounted to about 35l[38].

A new organ was installed in 1886[40].

On 19 July 1974 the Chapel's marriage registration was cancelled as the building was no longer used as a place of worship; it had been first registered for marriages on 17 June 1869[12]. After it ceased to be used for worship the building became a furniture store.

The ministers served both the Derwent Terrace Church and the Scarthin Nick chapel at the bottom of Chapel Hill. Kelly's 1890 Directory says that the Scarthin Nick church had been enlarged in 1840, but built 'many years since'. White's 1852 Directory of Sheffield and District provides the date it opened as 1810 but in the Religious Census of 1851 the date is given as 1809.

The latter date almost agrees with a newspaper article published in 1908[41], when centenary celebrations took place. It said a hundred years had passed since the Wesleyan Chapel, "the recently abandoned building at the foot of Chapel Hill", had opened. By then it had been replaced by the chapel on Water Lane in Cromford and the old chapel had been converted into two residences, one of which was the home of the Rev. and Mrs. H. G. Tunnicliff in 1908. The building was owned by John Willn[1912].

The numbers of worshippers at Chapel Hill had fallen quite dramatically, partly due to the Reform movement, in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1849 there were 790 members, by 1850 the figure was 663, in 1851 there were 559 and a little afterwards the number was down to 496.[41]
Entry in Religious Census, 1851
The former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is now a single house.

The 1905 postcard of Staffordshire Row and Chapel Hill (click on image) shows this building.

Wesleyan Methodist Church
1900 or before

Matlock Bath from the River

The Derwent Terrace church is in the middle of this picture.
See Images of Matlock and Matlock Bath as you can view a larger version
Ministers included
Frederick Hunter (Kelly's 1887);
Rev. George D. Mason, supt.;
Rev. Mark Davenport, supernumerary
(Kelly 1916), see MI;
Rev. B. Hughes Smith (Kelly's 1922);
Rev. Ebenezer Webster MA (Kelly 1925);
Rev. J. Marwood Sanderson (Kelly's 1928);
Rev. E. Trounsan, & at Scarthin (Kelly 1932);
Rev. A. B. Jones (Kelly's 1941)

The Derbyshire Record Office now holds the registers, collection of journals, minute books and miscellaneous papers (1906-74) and the marriage register (1938-63)[7].

Strays lists some Matlock Bath residents who were baptized here.

The chapel is included as a building in in the following census returns:
1881 census

The Promenade, Matlock Bath

Primitive Methodist, Scarthin Row

Both Kelly's and White's Directory[42] tell us that the brick built Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1853, costing £300 and with sittings for around 300 people. However, the Primitive Methodists were present in Scarthin before then as George Farnsworth, when completing the Religious Census of 1851, stated that they had opened a Preaching Room 10 on February, 1850.
Entry in the Religious Census, 1851

Mr. Farnsworth was still connected with the Chapel ten years later when the Primitive Methodists held their annual tea meeting[43]. The chapel's congregations were often large, especially when there were visiting speakers[44].

The interior of the chapel underwent a complete renovation, with new seating and painting, that was finished in January 1886. It had cost over 80l., with 50l. already raised from contributions by the Primitive Methodist Society and from local gentry[45].

The Chapel finally closed in 1921, although was still listed in Kelly's 1922 Directory, and the building beside the Greyhound Pond is now a private home. There still is a sign above the front door.

Ministers included
Rev. John Prince (Kelly's 1908 Directory)
Rev. J. Harryman Taylor M.A.
(Kelly's 1916 Directory, also 1912)
Rev. Thomas B. Heward (Kelly's 1922)

The chapel is included as a building in in the following census returns:
1861 census
1881 census

Wesleyan Methodist Reformed, later Mount Tabor United Methodist Chapel, Scarthin Row

The Wesleyan Reformers finished building their chapel, in Scarthin-row, in 1862. It was described as "a neat substantial building capable of accommodating three hundred persons". The first of the opening services took place on Sunday, 23 March that year when the Rev. R. Chester of Sheffield preached twice[46].

The chapel is included as a building in in the following census returns:
1861 census (this would not have been the chapel itself as it wasn't yet built)
1881 census

The new Mount Tabor Methodist Church opened on 12 December 1907 ; it had cost £2,000 to build, of which half the money had been raised. It was constructed by Messrs. J. G. Walker and Sons of Wirksworth to plans drawn up by Messrs. J. Wills of Derby. It would accommodate 200 worshippers and a school room was attached. Later that day the church received an anonymous gift of £300 for an organ, donated by an anonymous friend[47]. The church eventually closed but the building is still in Scarthin's promenade. It is now an engineering works.

The roof of the old chapel and the buildings that were demolished and became the front of Mount Tabor can be seen on Scarthin Nick & the Greyhound Pond, about 1905.

Researched, written and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
With grateful thanks to Stuart Dodds for notes about the Trinity Methodist United Reformed Church.

GUKUTILS: Places of Worship Database on Google Map is a new on-line resource.
Matlock Churches have been covered by Rosemary Lockie. Rosemary's page shows the churches and chapels within Matlock and Matlock Bath.


[1] "The Victoria History of the English Counties. A History of Derbyshire Vol.II". This was for those over 16 years of age. Mr. Statham (see ref [4] below) suggests that if we add about 40 children per 100 under 16, the possible total population at this time would have been about 1,400 persons.

[2] "Matlock Parish Church, Derbyshire" (1969) Pictorial Guide and Souvenir, The Church Publishers, Ramsgate.

[3] Cox, J. Charles (1877), "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, Vol. II "pub. Chesterfield: Palmer and Edmunds, London: Bemrose and Sons, 10 Paternoster Buildings; and Derby.

[4] Statham, W. N., (1925) "History of Matlock Parish Church", printed by Geo Hodgkinson.

[5] Hicklin, John, "Bemroses' Guide to Matlock, Bakewell, Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, &c"., Third Edition, pub Bemrose and Sons, London - no date, but about 1869. Quotation with the very kind permission and help of Sonia Addis Smith.

[6] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 8 September, 1897. Enlargement of the Parish Church.

[7] "A Guide to the Holdings of the Church of England Registers in the Derbyshire Record Office", ISBN 0901761 16 8 pub. Derbyshire Education Department © Derbyshire County Council (1994, and later dates). See How to contact the Derbyshire Record Office.

[8] Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons, Limited.

[9] Consecration of All Saints' from "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 24 September, 1884. Details of additional funding from "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 1 October, 1884.

[10] The last seven names extracted from Mitchell, Ian (2000) "A History of All Saints' Church Matlock Bank (1876-2000)", pub. All Saints' PCC.

[11] Several reports from "The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent": 6 May, 1865; 8 June, 1866; 9 June, 1866; 24 Aug 1867.

[12] "The London Gazette".

[13] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 27 September, 1882.

[14] See Smedley's United Methodist Free Chapel, Smedley's Hydro.

[15] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 17 May 1887 and the "Derbyshire Courier" 21 May 1887 both reported that the United Methodists had moved to the former Wesleyan Chapel on Snitterton road the previous year.

[16] "Derby Daily Telegraph", Monday 13 June 1910. New U.M. Church for Matlock. £300 realised at Stone-Laying Ceremony.

[17] "Derbyshire Times", Wednesday 26 April 1911. Matlock Methodism. Opening of New Church.

[18] With thanks to Bernard Gale and family diaries.

[19] "The Derby Mercury", 28 February 1866.

[20] "Derbyshire Times", 18 April 1903.

[21] "ibid.", 5 September 1903.

[22] "ibid.", 9 July 1870.

[23] There were two reports of the opening, both in the "Derby Daily Telegraph" - Monday 21 August 1905 and 25 August 1905.

[24] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 2 March, 1859.

[25] "ibid.", Wednesday, 5 August, 1896.

[26] "Derbyshire Courier", 20 May 1848.

[27] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 11 February, 1863.

[28] With thanks to Rosemary Lockie for sharing some of her own research. See GUKUTILS: Places of Worship on Google Map

[29] Laying the foundation stone was reported in "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 16 June, 1841 and the consecration and first services were announced in "The Derby Mercury", 28 September, 1842.

[30] Sheffield Daily Telegraph", 8 May 1922 and "Derbyshire Times", 12 January 1924. Vicar's Dream Realised. Matlock Bath's Parochial Hall Opened.

[31] Reported in "The Derby Mercury" of November 1872 and May 1873 (when the work was just about to begin).

[32] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 12 August, 1868, "Laying the Foundation Stone of a New Church at Scarthin".

[33] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 21 May 1870.

[34] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 15 February 1918. James Charles Arkwright of Oak Hill Cromford died in 16 May 1896.

[35] Middleton Congregational Church was built in 1786 by lead miners, among them Stuart's own kinsmen of Flint. It was initially thought that the Middleton Church was founded in 1776. However, Stuart's more recent research has found the later date although Middleton made a Solemn Covenant to found Middleton Independent Church in 1776/7.

[36] "Belper News", 11 March 1910. Glenorchy Church.
i. Rev. Whitehead established daughter churches at Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Bakewell and Belper.
ii. Rev. Wilson was a native of Huddersfield nd retired to Nottingham.
iii. During Rev. Littler's ministry the church was improved, and greatly enriched spiritually.
iv. Rev. Newnes was pastor for 14 years and his hard work saw the church at Matlock Bank formed.

[37] Rev. Easterbrook "The High Peak News", 21 April 1917. Also see Kelly's Directory 1916. Easterbrook went to India in 1920 and died of smallpox ("The Times", Thursday, 9 Mar, 1922) which his wife also caught. He had the distinction of flying in a Handley-Page and celebrating the first marriage ceremony over Indian air space in 1920.

[38] Rev. Tongue resigned the pastorate in 1926: "The Times", Friday, 26 Feb, 1926. He had previously been at Harrow ("Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette", 5 March 1926) and had been 41 years in the Ministry.

[38] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 20 February, 1867.

[40] Matlock Bath & Scarthin Newspaper Cuttings, 1886.

[41] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 26 September 1908. Harry George Tunnicliff (1883-1953), who was born at Burton on Trent, has been a minister since 1906. By 1911 he and his wife had moved to Fairfield.

[42] See White's Cromford Directory, 1857 elsewhere on this website.

[43] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 23 February 1861.

[44] "Derby Mercury", 26 June 1861.

[45] "ibid.", Wednesday, 6 January, 1886

[46] "ibid", Wednesday 26 March 1862.

[47] "Sheffield Daily Telegraph", 13 December 1907.

[1829] Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directory, for 1828-9, pub. London and Manchester**
[1848] "The Post Office Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutlandshire" (1848) Kelly and Co., London**
[1857] White, Francis (1857) "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby", Francis White & Co**
[1862] "General Commercial Directory and Topography of the Borough of Sheffield with all the Towns, Parishes, Villages and Hamlets Within a Circuit of Twenty Miles" pub. Francis White & Co. Sheffield (1862)**
[1887] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire" (1887), pub. London.
St. Joseph's, the churches of the Primitive Methodists, Congregationalists and Wesleyans, as well as the Society of Friends' Meeting House, were all described as "commodious structures".
[1891] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland" (May, 1891), pub. London**
[1895] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland" (1895), pub. London
[1912] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland", 1912. John Willn's name appears in the Cromford section.
[1925] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derbyshire" (1932), pub. London
[1932] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derbyshire" (1932), pub. London
[1941] "Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derbyshire" (1941), pub. London

**There are on site transcripts: 19th century directories and 20th century directories - 1908, 1912 and 1916