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Matlock Bath: Ferry Over the Derwent, about 1836
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century : Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Matlock Bath's Ferry. Either late Georgian or early Victorian.

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Also by Thomas Allom

High Tor, about 1836

Lovers' Walks

Lovers' Walks, An Edwardian couple

Lovers' Walks 1914

shows the building about 80 years later

Drawn by T. Allom
Engraved by J. W. Lowry

The engraving of the Ferry was from a picture by Thomas Allom[1] and was published in London (1837) for "The Counties of Chester, Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Rutland, & Lincoln Illustrated". The steel engraving was executed by Joseph Wilson Lowry (1803-1879)[2]. The hand colouring is a later addition.

Orchard Holme, later the Derwent Gardens, is on the right and Lovers' Walks is on the left bank. In 1838 William Adam observed that both the boats and walks "had been upwards of 80 years in the possession of Mr. Walker and his father, whose civility, attention, and reasonable charges to the visitors, give universal satisfaction. The charge for the Boats and seeing the walks is only 6d. each."[3] Henricus pointed out that "he keeps the extensive walks in repair.-He also pays a rent to Mr. Arkwright so we think that he deserves encouragement"[4]. There were those who believed everything should free, with total disregard for individuals having to pay for the lease of the land and its upkeep, which probably explains the comment. The Mr. Walker who Adam and Henricus both referred to was Richard Walker, the innkeeper of Walker's Hotel[5].

The building on the left, amongst the trees, was his shop. It, too, was also mentioned by Henricus: "Mr. Walker has a spar shop across the ferry, and manufactures a few of his own goods ; the assortment is good, and none of the articles expensive"[4].

Thomas Walker, Richard's son, was to take over The Royal Museum from Mr. Vallance in the 1850s. When he did so Adam remarked thst he had "long been connected with the spar and marble business, which he has carried on for years over the ferry by the boats"[6]. He had inherited the boats from his father[7].

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

[1] Thomas Allom (1804-1872) was a watercolourist and illustrator, an architect and topographical artist. Allom's drawings were engraved for travel books in the 1830s. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has more information about him.

[2] Joseph Wilson Lowry was born in London. His father was the engraver Wilson Lowry and his grandfather was also an artist. See the DNB link above.

[3] Adam, W. (1838) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity. ..." London; Longman & Co., Paternoster Row ; ... Mawe, Royal Museum, Matlock ; .... This was the first edition of his guide.

[4] Extracted from Henricus (1838) "The Matlock Tourist; and Guide Through the Peak ..."

[5] Richard was the son of Adam Walker. See Richards's baptism in Jan 1769 and burial in 1849. Also Bath Terrace Hotel.

[6] Adam, W. (1857, 6th edition) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity. ... John and Charles Mozley, Derby and 6, Paternoster Row, London; Bemrose ....

[7] See Pre 1858 Wills, Surnames W for Richard Walker's Will