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Bath Terrace, early 1890s

Bath Terrace booklet of Tariffs, early 1890s

The Royal Hotel, also commandeered for use by the Canadian Hospital

New Bath Hotel (1)

New Bath Hotel - the Outdoor Swimming Pool

This is one of two early photographs of the former Bath Terrace, established as an hotel in 1798[1]. Reverend Richard Ward, writing in 1827, described the hotel: "Immediately beyond the garden [of the New Bath] is a very neat and comfortable lodging-house belonging to Mr. Richard Walker, and calculated for the reception of up to twenty persons"[2]. The premises became part of the New Bath Hotel, but for a long time it was a separate establishment and was run by the Walker family for many years in the nineteenth century[3]. The mid nineteenth century writer of Railway Guides, George Bradshaw, possibly stayed at the hotel as he described it as "very good, comfortable and moderate"[4].

engraving of Walkers Hotel
Adam's 1845 engraving of Walker's Hotel. Walker's sign is on the right of the façade.
He noted that "this was originally the post-office, which had been removed
some years ago to Miss Shore's, the large brick building near the toll bar
He was referring to Woodland House.

The Georgian building was enlarged in the 1860s - in the top image the portion on the left hand side of the front is clearly an addition[6]. A sale notice in 1869 described the hotel as: "All that first class family hotel, which has for many years had an excellent connection ... known as Walker's Bath Terrace Hotel, standing upon a gentle eminence adjoining the main road from Derby to Buxton, commanding a view of the best scenery in the locality. The Hotel contains an excellent coffee-room, five sitting rooms, and numerous bedrooms ; also kitchens and the requisite offices, including coach house and stabling. The premises are in good repair, a considerable portion being nearly new, and there is an abundant supply of pure water and gas"[7]. The Bath Terrace was auctioned by the Walker's in March 1886 was bought by Mr Charles Hill, a manufacturer of Cromford, for £2400[8]. Mr. Hill owned other property in Matlock Bath, including Woodland House. By 1896, when he tried to auction the hotel again, Charles Hill was a J.P. and living at Woodborough Hall, Notts[9]. At that time the hotel was fully licensed and let on a lease to Mr Eaton.

Other nineteenth century licensees included Mr. R. Grant, W. Harrison, a Mrs. Taylor, formerly of St Helens, Alfred Storrs[10], Thomas William Hesketh, Robert Watson[11], Mr. Harrison, recently of Nottingham, Miss J Aldred (Aldritt in some sources), Joseph Francis Clay and Mrs. Macdonald. Those running the hotel in the earlier part of the twentieth century[12] included Miss Hoy, Mrs. Watson, Mr. Barker, Mrs. Edith Kent and Arthur Morgan who was died in the First World War[13].

In early 1918 a sale of the Bath Terrace's contents was arranged at short notice as the property had been taken over by the Military Authorities; such was the haste that the contents had been moved to the salerooms for convenience[14]. The hotel was commandeered just a week after the proprietor's death in December 1917. Mrs. Morgan retained the use of the bar and the smoke room on the ground floor where she could serve liquor, but a doorway was blocked up to separate the rest of the hotel from this area. Whilst it must have personally been very difficult for Mrs. Morgan, it was thought to be the best way of keeping the staff[15]. The Bath Terrace was to be part of the Canadian Convalescent Officers' Hospital, used alongside The Royal Hotel. Orderlies and other members of staff were to be housed here[16].

After the First World War the Bath Terrace and New Bath Hotels were linked under the same management and by 1932 they had become Trust House properties[17]. In 1933, because the two hotels were now owned by the same group, the licensee of the Fish Pond Hotel (Frank Warner) applied for the removal of the justices' license at the Bath Terrace so that it could be given instead to his establishment. Warner's solicitor said that, if granted, the Bath Terrace Hotel would be closed as a licensed house. This was supported by both the bench and Sept. Aves[18]. The removal of the hotel's license, held by F. S. Milne, was confirmed in 1934[19].
Matlock Bath: Fish Pond Hotel, 1930s

By the time plans for the New Bath's swimming pool were drawn up the Bath Terrace had been empty for about a year. The plans provided for this hotel to be transformed into dressing rooms and bathers would only have a few yards to walk[20]. The hotel building was also used as staff accommodation.

During the Second World War the building was used as a medical centre and the ground floor became the quarter master's store. Post war it was still used as the New Bath's staff quarters and as the swimming pool changing rooms. The Bath Terrace was knocked down some years ago and a house was built for the manager of the New Bath on the site[21]. The property is now a private home.

Original photograph - taken by Percy Rowbottom - in the collection of and provided by and © Lorraine Ball.
2. Engraving published in "The Gem of the Peak" (details below). In the collection of and © Ann Andrews.
Information researched and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] Date found on both 1863 Advertisement of Walker's Bath Terrace Hotel in Hall's "Days in Derbyshire" and in White's Directory of 1862.

[2] Ward, Reverend Richard (Seventh Edn., 1827) "The Matlock, Buxton and Castleton Guide, containing concise accounts of these and other remarkable places ... in the ... County of Derby", Derby.

[3] The Walker family appears in the 1841 census (no address given, but see Adam's "Gem of the Peak") | 1851 census | 1861 census | 1871 census | 1881 census | Also look at various 19th century trade directories on this web site

[4] "Bradshaw's Handbook for Tourists in Great Britain and Ireland ... Section Four ... Railways ... Midland", (1866) pub London (Adams) & Manchester (Bradshaw and Blacklock). This guide is now famous as the inspiration for the BBC TV series "Great British Railway Journeys" presented by Michael Portillo.

[5] Adam, W. (1857, 6th edtn.) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity". ... John and Charles Mozley, Derby and 6, Paternoster Row, London; Bemrose .... (own copy). The engraving was first published in the 1845 edition of his book. It had initially been published in Jewitt, Arthur (1835, 2nd ed.) "The Matlock Companion; and Visitor's Guide to the Beauties of Matlock ...".

[6] See the "Engraving of Matlock Bath, from the Wild Cat Tor" which shows the building before it was enlarged.

[7] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, February 10, 1869.

[8] "The Derby Mercury", 31 March, 1886.

[9] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, June 17, 1896. The lot, i.e. the fully licensed Bath Terrace Hotel, was withdrawn.

[10] Various licence applications published in "The Derby Mercury". It is not known if W. Harrison and Mr. Harrison, recently of Nottingham, are the same person.

[11] Robert Watson was living at the Bath Terrace Hotel at the time of the 1891 census although Kelly's Directory 1891 shows Mr. Hesketh still at the Hotel.

[12] 1901 census (Hoy) and various trade directories including Kelly's 1908 Directory and Kelly's 1916 Directory.

[13] Read about Arthur Morgan on Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial.

[14] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 12 January 1918. One of a number of notices of the sale, to be held by W. H. Marriott of Crown Buildings.

[15] "Sheffield Daily Telegraph", 20 December 1917. Hotels Commandeered.

[16] Beresford, Charles "The Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War" (2007). Country Books/Ashridge Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8.

[17] From various trade directories.

[18] "Derbyshire Times", 11 February, 1933. Matlock Licenses.

[19] "ibid.", 6 January 1934. County Licensing Committee.

[20] "ibid.", 17 March 1934.

[21] Conversation with the late Ken Smith.