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Matlock from Riber, 1914
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Harrison's Almshouses

Masson from Dean Hill, 1921 - 1930

Miss Harrison of Dean Hill House gave generously to the church

St. Giles before 1908

St. Giles' Church Interior, 1898-1969

Although the postcard (above) has a message on it that is dated 1927, the photograph is known to have been taken in 1914. Matlock Bank was still relatively undeveloped, with a number of large fields still part of the landscape. There are a couple of pointers that also agree with the 1914 date as the Imperial Road Church is shown in the picture (though is mostly hidden behind trees from this angle), therefore the card is later that 1911 which is when the church was being built. In addition, there is no sign of building work on Causeway Lane; the cinema was built post-war and opened in 1922.

When the image is enlarged a horse can be seen tethered at the bend in Church Street and a horse and cart are wending their way up Lime Tree Road (both are just about visible in the image immediately below). There are several people in the photograph, though they are too small to be seen in the picture here. Two figures are on the Tansley side of the Horse Shoe in Matlock Green, for example, and there's even a couple sitting behind a hedge! Look almost vertically above the 7 of the card's number. In the field next to the one with the card's number in it, close to the hedge, is a white dot. The white is a shirt or blouse.

Tram shelter and Park Head shops in
Crown Square, demolished in the 1920s.

Enlargement of Matlock Green.
Look carefully and you can just see the apex of the roof of the original Congregational Chapel
behind the buildings at the bottom of Lime Tree Road.

Enlargement of the cluster of houses surrounding St. Giles' Church and Church Yard, Matlock Town.
The former Wheatsheaf pub is to the left of the churchyard.

Dean Hill House, the home of Dr. William Harrison and his sister Margaret towards the end of the nineteenth century[1] can be seen on the second of the three enlarged sections of the card (above). Their home is at the top of the image, in the centre. Amongst earlier occupants of the property was the colour manufacturer Thomas Stevens[2].

On the far side of Dean Hill House are two large fields known as the Dean Fields which extend down the hill from Chesterfield Road to the edge of the football ground. The first newspaper reference to these fields occurred in 1811 with a sale at the Horse Shoe Inn at Matlock Green. Lot 3 was Nether Dean Hills (3a. 2r. 15p.) with barn and a carpenter's shop on the lower end; it was then occupied by William Ellis. Lot 4 was a freehold close known as Upper Dean Hills (3a. 2r. 16p.) also occupied by William Ellis[3]. Thirty one years later, in 1842, Charles Else advertised for sale, amongst other properties, "Lot 4. Freehold. A valuable piece or parcel of land, with the barn thereon standing, called Deans Hills, in the occupation of William Ellis"[4].

A similar view to the top image.
It was almost certainly taken at around the same time as the Valentine's card,
though from slightly lower down the hill.

In 1933 the Matlock Urban Council announced that they had acquired Dean Hills, "some three acres of hillside land which overlooks the Causeway Lane sports ground and the Hall Leys Park. ... When developed it will considerably add to the Matlock Pleasure grounds"[5]. The land is still owned by the Council.

The Dean Fields are called the Dene Fields these days[6]. This photo of the land was taken from Hall
Leys Park in February 2016. Matlock's football ground is on the far side of Causeway Lane.
The field boundaries shown on the 1848 tithe map and on the images above are still clearly defined today.

1, 2, 3. "Matlock from Riber". Published by Valentine's X. L. Series Real Photo Regd, no. 79652. Printed in Great Britain. Unposted, but postcard registered in 1914. Message, written in 1927, not relevant to card. In the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
4." Matlock from Riber Castle".. Published by Hawley, Matlock, No.42GS. No date. © Susan Tomlinson collection.
5. 2016 photograph kindly taken for this website by and © Susan Tomlinson.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] There are a number of references to the Harrisons:
i. William Harrison at the house: Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory |
ii. William Harrison was a County Magistrate see Kelly's 1891 Directory | Lists Through the Centuries: The Nineteenth Century: Keeping Law and Order
iii. Information about William Harrison's Will
iv. Miss Harrison: Kelly's 1899 Directory | Kelly's 1908 Directory | Kelly's 1912 Directory | Kelly's 1916 Directory |

[2] Thomas Stevens appears in White's 1862 Directory | Matlock Green Congregational Church, Roll of Church Members, 1866 - 1919

[3] "Derby Mercury", 24 October 1811.

[4] "Derby Mercury", 2 March 1842.

[5] "Derbyshire Times", 20 May 1933. New grounds for Matlock. Council Purchase Dean Hills.

[6] It is not clear when the spelling of Dean Fields was changed by the Council. Dean Hill House was still shown on the OS map of 1967, so it is assumed that it was some time after that. A family called Deane lived in Matlock in the sixteenth century. See details of the 1544 Will of Robert DEANE and arms of DEANE.