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Matlock Bath: Holy Trinity Church, 1907
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Youth Hostel, Matlock Bath, 1960 - the First Vicarage

Choir Procession 1935

Churches & Chapels

Holy Trinity Church, showing the west and south sides of the church, photographed from the field next to Clifton Road. The Royal Hotel was close by and the back of the hotel can also be seen.

A year before the top card was posted a Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis had published an article in the Pall Mall Gazette; he had been visiting Matlock Bath on a beautiful summer day and was full of compliments about the village and its scenery. Describing the view from where he was sitting, high up on a terrace overlooking Matlock Bath, he wrote that: "behind me are the three grey gables of the Royal Hotel : to the right, almost blotted out from view by the splendour of a great copper beech, is the amber coloured spire of the church"[1]. The card's sender was also enjoying himself, "spending a delightful holiday here : the scenery is grand" although he made no specific comment about the church.

In August 1902 two people were arrested for breaking and entering the church, as well as stealing the communion wine. Having locked the church as he left the previous evening John Henry Stafford, a member of the church choir, returned the next morning and noticed a scythe standing against a pew - the point of the scythe was broken and it was clearly not where it was normally stored. He and Samuel Shimwell later went back into the church to investigate further. They discovered that the north window, around 8 feet by 4 feet, had a hole in it large enough for a man to get through. Both the collecting box and the wine chest holding communion wine in the vestry had been broken open and there was a corkscrew on the table. A damask table cloth was also missing. This was later found in the possession of a female who also had part of a black cassock with her which seems to have been used to wrap up the bottles! The woman, who was said to have been the look-out, had been found lying "hopelessly drunk" in Crown Square and the thief was with her. He had a tell-tale bottle of wine sticking out of his pocket[2]. The woman was eventually discharged but the crime was considered very serious and the male was sentenced to seven years penal servitude[3].

The incumbent was the Reverend Charles Baker who, in 1912[4], was to preach a Sunday evening sermon denouncing some of the villagers for greed, claiming they had set up gods of their own. One of these "gods" was the making of money, honestly and morally if they could, but, above all, making it. "They" spent their time catering for the lowest instincts of the human mind; they catered for Sunday outings, and they were guilty of a great folly[5]. One can only presume that the money makers who so offended their parson were not in the congregation.

Looking up to the spire and east side of Holy Trinity from the
riverbank opposite the Derwent Gardens, taken at a similar time.
It is an enlargement of a section of a postcard.
See: Matlock Bath: Derwent Gardens from the River Derwent

Holy Trinity Church, Matlock Bath - Memorial Inscriptions in the Church
Holy Trinity Church, Matlock Bath - Memorial Inscriptions in the Churchyard
Finding the Churchyard Inscriptions
Matlock Bath Burials, 1845 - 1866
Matlock Bath Holy Trinity Banns, from 1846

1. "Holy Trinity Church, Matlock Bath". Boots Cash Chemists "Pelham" Series, No. F.32685 Posted 4 Jul 1907 in Matlock and sent to London.
2. Enlargement of section of "Matlock Bath. The Church from Lovers Walk". Raphael Tuck & Sons "Silverette", Series 600, Matlock Bath. Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen "Picturesque Derbyshire". Posted 1 Aug 1908 at Alvaston.
Postcards in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links lead to more on site information):

[1] Reported in the "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 27 July 1906 and also in the "Guide to Matlock and Matlock Bath" (ca. 1907) Printed and published by Geo. Hodgkinson, Matlock Printing Works.

[2] "Derbyshire Times", 9 August 1902. Sacrilege at Matlock Bath Parish Church.

[3] "Derbyshire Times", 3 December 1902.

[4] Charles Baker had been Matlock Bath's vicar since 1883. See: the 1891 census | the 1901 census | his MI | Kelly's 1908 Directory. His name is also on one of two wooden boards in the church.

[5] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 9 Dec 1912.