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Matlock Bath: Heights of Abraham, Wooded Slopes
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Upper Towers

Great Rutland Cavern, Heights of Abraham

North Parade
& Waterloo Road

Matlock Bath from the Heights of Jacob, 1908-14

The card's title, "Wooded Slopes, Matlock Bath", is referring to the Heights of Abraham which is shown on the top half of the image. The property was owned by the Chadwick family for almost a century[1] and included the two early nineteenth century buildings known as the Upper Towers and the Lower Towers.

The castellated Gothic building is the Lower Towers. It had been the home of Colonel Edward Payne in the 1820s[2] and at the time it was known as The Tower; the Upper Tower on the Heights of Abraham had not yet been built. At the beginning of the 1840s Mrs. William Cumming and her sister Miss Hall used the property as an "Establishment for the Education of Young Ladies[3]"

Robert Chadwick, who had been a papermaker in Derby[4], returned to the district having bought the Lower Towers in 1858. The sale notice announced that his new home "commands a most extensive and picturesque, and beautiful prospect over the vale of Matlock and the surrounding country"[5]. Robert moved into the house with his second wife Elizabeth, nee Sprinthall[6], and their son Robert as well as Robert's daughter (only child)[1] by his first wife, Ellen, nee Frost[7]. His father William joined them at the Lower Towers but passed away there in 1860[8]. When the Heights of Abraham estate came up for sale in 1863, following the death of the then owner Thomas Wakley, Robert bought both The Heights and the Upper Tower[9].

Robert Chadwick played a full part in the life of Matlock Bath and became the manager of the Derby & Derbyshire Banking Co.[10]. There was even a life size portrait of him, produced by Matlock Bath photographer John Clark. Robert's son became a vicar and moved away, but his daughters remained at the Lower Towers after their parents died, so it was occupied by the Chadwicks until 1950[11]. Mary Ann died in 1931, Elizabeth in 1944 and Alexandra in 1950. The late Frank Clay held these women in high regard saying that "you could go to them for a recommend if you needed help. .. Miss Alex, who had trained as a nurse where Florence Nightingale had trained, ... took rainfall measurements and sent them off". The sisters also helped produce the Parish Magazine and contributed to the Derby Royal Infirmary. For a time Alison Lymn, whose father was a solicitor and lived at the Beeches, ran a school in the back room of the house[12].

After Alex died, the Lower Towers was sold; the Chadwicks were followed by the Charlesworths and then the Barnes[12]. Matlock's Council took on the ownership of the Heights, first continuing to lease the grounds to the Aspey family and afterwards to Mr. Pugh who has done a remarkable job keeping it both as a competitive business and in touch with the changing world of tourism.

Detail of the Wooded Slopes postcard

The enlargement of the bottom half of the postcard, above, shows Waterloo Road zigzagging up the hillside to the octagonal single storey building known as the Round House, and to the junction with Holme Road, Masson Road and Upperwood Road. The large dwelling on the left is Wellington House, and behind it are three small commercial properties (later demolished) and a small cottage that belonged to Belle Vue House. At the right hand end of the Wellington House row is Oban, the three storey house with the wooden canopy over the door and an attractive curved corner. This was initially one storey high. It became the home of a local businessman, William Lennox, following his retirement and he named the property Oban[13].

The road then bends around and rises quite steeply. On the far side of the bend, half hidden by the tree, is Belgrano. Above the row, actually around the sharp bend and up the road a bit from Belgrano, is a property that is half hidden from view. This was Swiss Cottage, so named because it resembled a Swiss chalet. There used to be lovely wrought ironwork across the front.

There is more information:
Robert Chadwick's property is mentioned in Hall's "Day's in Derbyshire", 1863.

The Lower Towers can be seen on the following images:
Museum Parade, Old Bath Terrace & the Heights, 1840
Matlock Bath: River Derwent & Heights - a CDV from the late 1800s

Robert Chadwick is also mentioned in:
Matlock & Matlock Bath Miscellany. Scroll down to Rifle club
Lists Through the Centuries: The Nineteenth Century: Return of Owners of Land 1873 - Derbyshire
Living at the Heights of Abraham, 1954-64. Samuel Sprinthall, Robert's brother in law, became the lessee of the Heights, followed by the Aspeys.

The Waterloo Road properties can be found on:
Matlock Bath in the 1890s
Matlock Bath from the Heights of Jacob, 1920s
The land at the bottom of the zigzag is mentioned in the Will of Peter Smedley, Petrifactioner, 1818. See pre-1858 Wills, Surnames S.

"Wooded Slopes, Matlock Bath". No.3293. Publisher not known.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by Susan House.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] The Chadwicks are recorded in the census returns from 1861 onwards (see the 1861 census entry). They advertised in nineteenth century directories and twentieth century directories.

[2] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 24 January, 1827. Sale of household goods by Edward Payne, The Tower.
Glover's Directory, 1827/8/9 also tells us he was there. Payne clearly liked Gothic buildings as another property of his, Ivy Cottage in Matlock Dale, was also described as castellated. Ivy Cottage was replaced by The Rocks. See Col. Payne's name in Nineteenth Century - Game Duty Lists.

[3] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 7 July, 1841.

[4] Information from the 1851 census. He was also found in:
Freebody's Directory, 1852 - Chadwick Robert, 25 Queens Street and King's Mills, near Castle Donnington (Paper Makers & Dealers);
Melville & Co.'s Directory & Gazetteer of Leicestershire, 1854 - Chadwick Robert, paper Manufacturer, King's Mills, Castle Donnington;
Post Office Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1855 - Chadwick Robert, paper Manufacturer, King's Mills, Castle Donnington.

[5] "ibid.", 30 June 1858
(By order of the Assigns of Messrs. Harrison, Watson, and Pease, Bankrupts). By Messrs MOODY and NEWBOLD.
At the New Bath ... on Thursday 15th July 1858 ...
ALL that MESSUAGE or DWELLING HOUSE, called the " LOWER TOWER," delightfully situated on the far-famed Heights of Abraham, at Matlock, with the Outhouses, Outbuildings, and Pleasure Ground, Ornamental Trees, Shrubberies and Garden belonging thereto. containing on the whole 0a. 2r. 20p. or thereabouts and in the late occupation of James Clifford Newbold, Esq.
The messuage comprises dining room and drawing room, a small parlour and eight bedrooms ...
To view the premises, application may be made to Mr. Edward Gregory of Matlock ...

[6] He had married Elizabeth at St. John's Church, Derby in 1858.

[7] The licence for Robert's 1st marriage in 1827 states he was of Matlock Papermaker, Bachelor and his bride was Ellen Frost of Wirksworth spinster. Also see Matlock Marriages, Surnames C.

[8] "The Derby Mercury", 28 Nov 1860, Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 30 Nov 1860, Derbyshire Courier,1 Dec 1860. Deaths
"On Sunday, the 25th Nov., at his son's residence, Matlock Bath, Mr. William Chadwick, in his 78th year".
William Chadwick's burial can be found on Matlock Bath Burials. Robert's mother, Sarah, was the daughter of the Upper Wood lead miner Parkin Pearson and his wife Martha Lockall. The Chadwick family's MIs are also on site.

[9] "ibid.", Wednesday, April 22, 1863. Newbold and Oliver auctioned Guilderoy, built by Mr. Pechell ca. 1840, the Heights of Abraham, the Upper Tower, the Rutland Cavern, Prospect Tower, the Two Lodges, Swiss Cottage and 31 acres, plantations etc. for the Devisee in Trust under the Will of Thomas Wakley, Esq. The solicitor was Francis Blake.

[10] See both Kelly's Directory 1864 and Kelly's Directory 1876. He was listed, under Matlock Bath, in both the Private Residents section and the Commercial section. When the bank opened a branch at Matlock Bridge in 1877 it was "under the superintendence of Robert Chadwick ("Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 14 July 1877). The late Frank Clay confirms this in notes about the Matlocks held by the web mistress: he was "bank manager where Westminster Bank was eventually". He was referring to Matlock, not Matlock Bath.

[11] i. "Derby Daily Telegraph", 8 July 1950. Preliminary Announcement oft the sale of the Heights, the Lower Towers and the Round House.
ii. "ibid.", 5 August 1950. The Heights of Abraham was withdrawn from sale, but the Lower Tower, Masson Road was for sale, with Vacant Possession. Full particulars for the third lot, the Round House on Holme Road, were being prepared.
iii. "ibid.", 26 August 1950. The Lower Towers and Round House were to be sold on 19 Sept 1950

[12] Recollections of the late Mr. Frank Clay, from private papers and notes owned by Mrs. Doreen Buxton, some of which were written in 1992 and are still within copyright.

[13] William Lennox, who moved to the district in the 1860 ("Derby Daily Telegraph", 8 Feb 1930), named Oban after his birthplace. This presumably after the house had been rebuilt. He can be found there in the 1911 census | Kelly's Directory 1912 | Kelly's Directory 1916 | his MI is at Holy Trinity. He and his wife were incorrectly recorded as Lennon in the 1901 census.