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Matlock Bath: High Tor, 1785
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Georgian engraving of High Tor
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1887 painting by Cubley

High Tor photo

High Tor and Tor Cottage (later Tor House)

The Giddy Edge

Drawn by J. Smith
Engraved by S. Middiman
Published as the Act Directs Jany 21st, 1785 by S. Middiman, London

The engraving of High Tor was from a drawing by John Smith, who was in Derbyshire about 1785[1]. It was published in "Select Views in Great Britain" (1784-1792), a collection of topographical art with engravings by Samuel Middiman (1750-1831)[2]. Middiman was a highly regarded engraver who produced engravings from drawings by, amongst others, Joseph Wright of Derby. The hand colouring is a later addition.

A small weir can be seen on the river bed. Whilst old engravings don't necessarily give a totally accurate depiction it is probable that the line of the wall and houses (bottom right) could have been where the old road - now a footpath - comes down from Starkholmes. David Palmer Pearson's articles, researched by Colin Goodwyn, confirm that this is the weir he dated as 1769, based on Barber and Goodwin's lease date[3], and 'shows the outfall from the weir, and mine buildings.' Also that 'the ruins of this weir are known to fishermen as Robinson's Stream'. He also mentioned a later engraving by Farington / Byrne dated 1817 entitled 'South View of Matlock High Tor' which shows 'the rim of the weir, then in a delapidated condition'[4].

See the Farington /Byrne print and Robinson's Stream in the Government Art Collection.
J. P. Malcolm described High Torr in a piece for The Gentleman's Magazine in 1793. This is transcribed elsewhere on this site (p.44).

Engraving in the collection of and provided by and © Bernard Gale.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

[1] John (Warwick) Smith "was in Derbyshire about 1775". Quote from No. 24, Walker's Quarterly: John (Warwick) Smith (1749-1831) by Basil S. Long, M.A.

[2] Middiman's dates from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

[3] See the Wolley Manuscripts Vol. 6671 ff.310-313 (Manorial deeds and papers ... water wheels on E. of Derwent adjoining High Tor Wood and near Matlock Bridge for unwatering mines 1769).

[4] With thanks to Colin Goodwyn, who has researched articles written by the Matlock Dale antiquarian David Palmer Pearson (d. 1932).