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Matlock Bath: New Bath Hotel, from Wild Cat Tor
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18thc and 19thc Tour Guides have historical info about the New Bath

Engraving of Matlock Bath, from the Wild Cat Tor

Woodland House

Famous Derbyshire Health Resorts. The Matlocks, about 1892 - Part 1
Mentions the Monarch Lime Tree

Past Matlock & Matlock Bath photographers

The photograph for the undated CDV, above, was taken slightly after the stereoview on the previous page was photographed. Both pictures may have been taken before 1860. The pond has been finished and was presumably now full of fish (see below). The main entrance, now with a portico topped by a wrought iron balcony rail, can be seen on the first two of these nineteenth century images, so had been moved from its earlier position between the hotel's north and south wings[1]. Whoever took the picture was standing on Cat Tor and looking down onto the New Bath and its surroundings, so the reverse of the way it was described by William Adam in 1857[1].

Is most pleasantly situated on the extreme south end of the Tufa Terrace. It owed its existence to the second hot spring, which was discovered some years after that of the Old Bath. Hence the named Old and New, applied respectively to each, designating their order of succession. This house, like the Old Bath, had a small beginning, and was gradually extended as time and circumstances required. The building forms three sides of a quadrangle. The north wing is the last erected, in which there are some excellent and spacious sitting rooms. The one with the bow window, looking out on the lawn [Saxton's Green], is an excellent room, and equally pleasant. The Messrs. Saxtons, who conducted the house for many years, have been succeeded by Miss IVATTS and Mrs. JORDAN, (late of the Royal Station Hotel, Hull, and formerly of the Hotel and the Normanton Station,) who have completely renovated and refurnished the house on the first style, with every addition necessary for the wants of the present times. Hence they have converted the large and spacious room in the south wing into a Coffee-Room for the ladies and gentlemen, with other changes, so as to make it a most comfortable Family Hotel. The private sitting-rooms are spacious and lofty, commanding fine views of the scenery. The clergy of the surrounding districts hold their half-yearly meetings here. There is a large natural tepid Swimming pool Bath connected with the Hotel, which is exceedingly convenient for bathers.

The garden is beautiful, and kept in the neatest possible order. This occupies the entire space between Walker's Hotel and the house. Here the visitor may entertain himself amongst shrubs and flowers, or sit and watch the elegant motions of the golden fish, which sport in great numbers in a circular pool [see next page], made on purpose for that delicate and beautiful species of the finny tribe. They are so tame, being constantly accustomed to numerous visitors, many of whom take a delight in feeding them, that they may be said to come in shoals from out of their hiding-places in the Tufa bottom or sides, or from under the broad leaf of the water lily, the moment anyone approaches the margin of the pool. The constant supply of hot water into this basin admirably preserves these creatures. But the pride and glory of the garden is its lime tree, occupying nearly the centre.* It is beautiful and magnificent when in full leaf, and under its ample shade the visitor may take shelter from the overpowering heat of the noonday sun, and coolly enjoy the sweet scenery and fragrant garden, which spreads out before him". ...

*This noble tree is considered to be about 164 years old.

"On proceeding again to the Terrace [to the Green in the 1851 edition], the view to the south is commanding, and embraces some fine scenery. To the left is the rocky, ivy-clad barrier, cut off suddenly a little further on, by a cleft or fault. In front, rising over the houses, is the "Wild Cat Tor", emerging from the thick woods of Willersley, like an old dilapidated tower, isolated from its kindred pile, by the demolition of ages. To the right, the winding dale, bounded by the extended limb of Masson, called Harp Edge, covered with plantations and inclosures, over all, majestically towering in the distance; ..."[1].

William Adam provided descriptions of Matlock Bath's development in his various editions of "Gem of the Peak", published between 1838 and 1857 in a way that almost nobody else did at that time. His information is enormously helpful for local historians and genealogists alike.

One reason for suggesting an early date for this CDV is that it is known that Woodland House was
extended shortly before George Saxton bought the property in 1856[2].
The small cottages, bottom left, used to be at the foot of the Wapping. There was then
a cluster of slightly larger houses which included Mount View, Weir Side and Linacre.
Woodland House, the cottages and houses were all demolished in the 1970s.

Below is a somewhat earlier view of the hotel's east side, which was then the front of the hotel.

The New Bath, about 1845, by William Adam[1].

Adam's engraving was published in the 1845, 1851 and 1857 versions of his guide. The north wing, with the large bay window overlooking Saxton's Green, is described in the long quotation above. Adam mentions this single storey window in every edition of "The Gem of the Peak". The image also shows the quadrangle in between the two wings and the original entrance into the hotel. There seems to be a turning place for carriages in front of this, which had disappeared in later pictures.

He likened the famous lime tree on the right, with its branches propped up, to the Indian "Banian" - a fig tree with large aerial roots. In 1857 the trunk's girth measured 14 feet whilst the boughs covered an area of almost 100 yards in circumference[1]. Henry Moore, the Derby author, painter and etcher, had already mentioned the "Banyan" tree in his 1818 guide[3].

Pages that may also be of interest:
Lists Through the Centuries: Arrivals at Matlock Bath, 1820-1850. European Royal families and nobility, British politicians, academics, clergy, members of the British aristocracy and upper and middle classes of society. Some of them would have stayed at the New Bath.
Famous 19thC People who Wrote About or Visited the Bath
Henry Moore (1818) "Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath", pp.47-51 provides an Account of the Matlock Water, extracted from Pilkington's View of Derbyshire.
Read a poem about The New Bath Hotel, its Lime Tree and the 49 stakes (scroll down).
Ivatts and Jordan advertised the hotel in Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863.

There is more about the New Bath Hotel

1. "View at Matlock". Carte de Visite, no publisher but before 1880.
2. Engraving of "The New Bath" from Adam's 1857 guide[1].
All images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links go to on site transcripts):

[1] Adam, W. (1857, 6th edition) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity". ... There is also a transcript of the 1840 edition.

[2] "Saint James's Chronicle", 15 April 1856. Announcement that Mr. Saxton and his two sisters had left the New Bath, had purchased Woodland House in Matlock Bath and would provide board and lodging, or lodgings, for families visiting Matlock.

[3] Henry Moore (1818) "Picturesque Excursions From Derby to Matlock Bath", pp.27-32 also mentions Saxton's New Bath, the hotel garden and the tree (see the first couple of paragraphs).