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High Tor & Railway Station, Matlock Bath, 1862
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Engraving of the station at Matlock Bath
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The Railways of Derbyshire, 1903
(Old Maps of Derbyshire)

Midland Railway Distances

Other Rock & Co engravings

Chesterfield House Hydro, 1868

[Knowleston Place]

A vignette[1] view of High Tor and Matlock Bath station, with its distinctive chalet-style roof. A train is emerging from the station, travelling south.

The engraved illustration was done for the London publishers Rock & Co. Ltd.[2]; it is number 4466 and dated 20 Feb 1862. To the left of the station is the High Tor Tunnel[3]. Between the tunnel and the station is a bridge under the line and a footpath connecting Matlock Bath and Starkholmes goes underneath. The white building on the left must be the old vicarage - a more obvious depiction of it can be seen elsewhere on this site[4]. The station approach, for the carriages, curricles and phætons of the day, sweeps down to the left towards the recently built stone bridge that is just out of view. The iron footbridge bridge across the river Derwent, just past the bend, was not to be put in place for several more decades.

When writing about Matlock Bath and the Dale in 1851, William Adam went on to observe "Added to all these striking changes which have altered its original condition, Matlock Bath] can now boast of one of the best roads in the kingdom, and also the Railroad, which renders it of easy access from all parts of the kingdom"[5].

It was the coming of the railway that led to a major change in Matlock Bath's tourism. In May 1850 it was reported that "this delightful watering place is now crowded with gay company", and the majority had arrived by train on a day trip. The previous week some 1,500 scholar from Sheffield's Wesleyan Schools had "enlivened Matlock [Bath] with their presence". They had previously contracted with Mr. Bryan for admission to his pleasure grounds, caverns and prospect tower at the Heights and made similar arrangements with Mr. Smedley to visit the Cumberland Cavern, Romantic Rocks and petrifying well. Shortly afterwards 1,000 arrived from Birmingham and a couple of days later 600 visited from Derby[6].

View even more about the station by clicking on the images below:


19C stereoview1

19C stereoview2

Tunnel, 19C

About 1906



Station House

Today, image3

View from the postcard of "High Tor & Railway Station, Matlock" published by Your Heritage (no date) in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Image scanned for this website and information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] A vignette engraving is an engraved illustration that is not enclosed in a definite border and, as is the case here, the edge of the image might be either fuzzy or just fade into the background.

[2] Rock & Co. was founded by William Frederick Rock. The firm specialised in, amongst other things, steel engraved vignette views.

[3] See image 3, High Tor Tunnel on Matlock Bath Today (4) where the building of the tunnel is discussed.

[4] There is a vignette engraving of High Tor Tunnel from "Bemroses' Guide" of 1869, showing the railway station building (at the bottom of the page). It is similar to this image and the former vicarage is shown. Also see the engraving from Mrs. Smedley's "Ladies' Manual".

[5] Adam, W. (1851) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity". ... John and Charles Mozley, Derby and 6, Paternoster Row, London; Bemrose ....

[6] "Derbyshire Courier" 20 July 1850. See Biography of Benjamin Bryan