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Matlock: Chesterfield House Hydro, 1868
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century : Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings

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Chesterfield House Hydro

Chesterfield House Hydro Brochure, 1906-17

Ralph Davis' first establishment

South View, later the
Memorial Hospital

Other Rock & Co engravings

[Knowleston Place]

High Tor & Railway Station

A steel engraving of Ralph Davis' Chesterfield House Hydro, executed not long after it was built. Mr. Davis (1815-1896) was one the first people involved with hydropathy in the Matlock area, the other two being Dr. Antoin Rischanek (see The First Hydro in the District) and Mr. John Smedley (The Hydros and Hydropathy, Matlock's Expansion). Davis set up in business on Matlock Bank, and was assisted by John Smedley until Smedley bought him out. He then worked for Smedley for a while[1] but branched out on his own again, running South View Cottage on what was then Dobb Lane - now Bank Road. That property later became Smedley's Memorial Hospital. He also owned Poplar Cottage (later Chatsworth Hydro) on Chesterfield Road, which he sold in 1867. He moved to Chesterfield House, his largest venture, in the mid 1860s[2] and was listed amongst Matlock's land owners in what became known as The New Domesday of 1873[3]. He passed away at Chesterfield House in 1896.

"Davis' Hydropathic Establishment, Matlock Bank". Published by Rock & Co., London, No.5782. Dated 10 Jan 1868, by W. E. Howe, Matlock Bath.
In the collection of and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
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] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 12 October 1855. "Hydropathic Baths by Ralph Davis and his Wife. Board, Lodging and Baths, 2s per day. Matlock Bank, Derbyshire".

[2] Ralph Davis is shown in Matlock's census returns, earlier on as a framework knitter and later as a hydropathist: 1841 census (with parents and siblings) | 1851 census (with second wife and her daughters) | 1861 census | 1871 census | 1881 census | 1891 census (living next door to Chesterfield house, but still the owner). He advertised in various trade directories. See, for example: White's 1857 Directory | The Post Office Directory (1876) | Kelly's (May, 1891)

[3] See Lists Through the Centuries: The Nineteenth Century: Return of Owners of Land 1873 - Derbyshire.