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Matlock Bank from Masson, with Masson Farm
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Matlock Bank from Masson
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Victoria Tower, Heights of Abraham, 1907 -25

This photograph was taken from the top of the Victoria Tower on the Heights of Abraham. It shows Masson Farm in the foreground, with Cliff House a little further down the Masson hillside. Matlock Bank is on the opposite hill with Matlock Bridge at the bottom. The railway line can be seen in the valley below the farm.

Masson Farm is above Matlock Dale and is across from High Tor. In front of the farm is the footpath that connects Upperwood with St. John's Road, going past Shining Cliff to Masson Farm. This footpath was mentioned by Timothy Spencer Hall in his 1863 guide for having lovely views[1].

Masson Farm has been home to a number of families over the years and in 1856 Mrs Henstock[2] advertised "spacious, convenient and airy apartments" there. Those who used the holiday accommodation had "the privilege of shooting over 26 Acres, and free fishing in the Derwent". All kinds of fresh farm produce was offered for sale to the prospective lodgers. "The house faces south, and is screened from the east wind by the majestic High Tor, and from the north by hills. The situation is on a sloping hillside, perfectly dry, and commands some of the most romantic of the Matlock scenery"[3]. When Mrs. Henstock was advertising for paying guests Matlock Bank would have had far less houses on it than is shown in this photograph - and few hydros would have existed.

John James Hodgkinson was at the farm in 1890[4] but in 1891 the freehold dairy farm, with its outbuildings and on a plot over over 21 acres, was advertised for sale. The auctioneer was Joseph Hodgkinson[5]. Joseph Hodgkinson was to sell Mr. Hodgkinson's livestock in early the following year[6].

Herbert Wardman, a well known local milk producer and retailer[7], was at Masson Farm for many years[8] and his son Ernest eventually took over[9]. When Masson Farm was advertised for sale by J. Else in 1948 it consisted of "23 Acres, all grass. Stone-built 8-roomed House. Excellent Cowshed. The land contains valuable quantities of Minerals Fluospar, Lead and Limestone"[10].

Enlargement, showing Masson Farm

In the Rural Life section of the Vernon Lamb Archive:



"Matlock Bank from Masson". Salmon Series Pub J. Salmon Ltd., Sevenoaks, No.15114. Real Photo. Unused. © Ann Andrews collection
Thanks to Ken Smith for identifying the farm.
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] See Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863. You will need to scroll down to below Allen's poem.

[2] "The Derby Mercury" of Wednesday, January 8, 1873 announced that Miss Henstock and Mrs. Greaves were selling the farm. Other surnames, found in the parish registers, associated with the farm were MARRIOTT, PEARSON, STATHAM, GREATOREX, HADFIELD and HURSTHOUSE. Census returns for the Matlocks were poor in providing exact addresses but the 1861 census shows the Greatorex family were living at Masson Farm and the Stathams were living there at the time of the 1901 census.

[3] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, June 18, 1856.

[4] "The Derby Mercury", 8 January 1890. Also see the 1891 census | Kelly's 1891 Directory |. By the 1901 census he was a Fancy Goods seller on North Parade.

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 29 April 1891 and "Derby Daily Telegraph", 26 Sept 1891.

[6] "Derbyshire Times", 10 February 1892.

[7] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 7 March 1927. Death of Herbert Wardman's wife Ganny, aged 75.

[8] The Wardman family can be found in Matlock Dale in the 1901 census. They were shown at Masson Farm in Kelly's 1908 Directory | Kelly's 1912 Directory | Kelly's 1916 Directory. Herbert Wardman, who had retired by 1939 and passed away on 3 April 1943 aged 87, moved from the farm to Harvey Dale Cottage in Bakewell Road.

[9] Kelly's Directory 1942.

[10] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 21 September 1948. For Sale by Private Treaty. With Vacant Possession on completion of purchase. Freehold Farm.