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A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe, 1724-6.*
Eighteenth and nineteenth century tour guides about Matlock Bath and Matlock
Extract from The Penguin English Library Edition, 1979
Letter 8 North Midlands and Yorkshire

Willersley, 1802
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Near Wirksworth, and upon the very edge of Derwent, is, above, a village called Matlock, where there are several warm springs, lately one of these being secured by a stone wall on every side, by which the water is brought to rise to a due height, is made into a very convenient bath; with a house built over it, and room within the building to walk round the water or bath, and so by steps to go down gradually into it.

This bath would be much more frequented than it is, if two things did not hinder; namely, a base, stony, mountainous road to it, and no good accommodation when you are there. They are intending, as they tell us, to build a good house to entertain persons of quality, or such who would spend their money at it; but it was not so far concluded or directed when I was there, as to be any where begun. The bath is milk, or rather blood warm, very pleasant to go into, and very sanative, especially for rheumatic pains, bruises, &c.

Over against this warm bath, and on the other, or east side of the Derwent, stands a high rock, which rises from the very bottom of the river (for the water washes the foot of it, and is there in dry weather very shallow); I say, it rises perpendicular as a wall, the precipice bare and smooth like one plain stone, to such a prodigious height, it is really surprising yet what the people believed of it surmounted all my faith too, though I looked upon it very curiously, for they told me it was above four hundred foot high, which is as high as two of our Monuments, one set upon another; that which adds most to my wonder in it is, that as the stone stands, it is smooth from the very bottom of the Derwent to the uppermost point, and nothing can be seen to grow upon it. The prodigious height of this tor, (for it is called Matlock Tor) was to me more a wonder than any of the rest in the Peak, and, I think, it should be named among them, but it is not. So it must not be called one of the wonders.

Squirrel from Robinson Crusoe.
          Image Scan Ann Andrews

With very grateful thanks to Jane Steer for generously providing this extract.
Daniel Defoe (1660 - 1731) was also the author of "Robinson Crusoe", " Moll Flanders" and "Colonel Jack".
The squirrel is an ornamental footer scanned from "The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner; now Correctly Reprinted from the Original Edition of 1719, with an Introduction giving a New History of Defoe's Masterpiece by William Lee, Esq." with 100 original illustrations by Ernest Griset, John Camden Hotten, Piccadilly, 1869; reprinted Frederick Warne, London, 1878.
William Lee married the sister of one of my ancestors (AA - webmistress).

Other writers have quoted Defoe. See:
Bemroses' Guide to Matlock, p.16
The Varied Fortunes of a Derbyshire Spa

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Lead Mining - see Defoe's description of a lead miner
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