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Matlock Bath: The Grand Pavilion, from Temple Walk, 1911-20
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Fish Pond Stables

South Parade, 1910 - includes Boden's Restaurant

More about the Bodens

Matlock Bath's Glove Factory

Matlock Bath: South Parade & Heights of Abraham, 1914-18

Matlock Bath's Pavilion has almost cathedral like proportions, built on a grand scale and designed to impress. Here we see the building against the backdrop of the limestone crags of Cat Tor. Against such scenery, the design needed to be big. We mustn't forget that its size would also have then been in keeping with The Royal Hotel on the opposite side of the road and the Palais Royal up in the woods.

The top image dates from 1911 - the same large sign boards outside the front of what was then known as the Kursaal building can be seen on The Grand Pavilion (Kursaal), 1910-12 (third image). Matlock Bath Council had laid out the grounds surrounding the Pavilion in the spring of 1911, transforming them "from a rubbish heap into rockeries and flower borders", and a fountain was placed in the centre of the fish pond. The Council's surveyor, Mr. H. W. A. Carter, supervised the work. The Lea Mills band were already engaged for Easter[1].

In pre-war Matlock Bath Boden's Restaurant, then occupying the large building with the large circular window next to the fish pond on the left of all three images here, was ready for the trippers. Their sign is above the door and the awning over the window on the top two postcards tells us that it was the Fishpond Restaurant; it could cater for a large number of people. The sender of the first card wrote "... This is the place where I came to sing it is a fine room to sing in".

Kursaal. Image 2, taken in 1911
Early 1911, before the grounds were laid out.
The Petrifying Well and Aquarium, partly hidden amongst the trees bottom left, is next to Hand's booking hall.
A wagonette and a pony and trap were heading southwards.

All three pictures were possibly taken early in the morning, before there were many visitors. The road was completely traffic free in the top and bottom images and only a handful of pedestrians were out and about, but they both show a small group clustered around the Fish Pond as always. In the first image most of the ladies walking along the road were wearing large hats; one can speculate that they were locals on their way home from church, but many day trippers wore similar headgear at that time and close inspection indicates they were mostly heading for the entrance to the Switchback in the Derwent Gardens.
See similar hats on Derwent Gardens - The Switchback, (2) Adrenalin Rush.

In the Derwent Gardens, which are just past the Pavilion and below road level, is the distinctive shape of the main building of the Switchback Railway. It is far clearer in the third image, but an enlargement of the top picture shows there were chairs outside the cafe within the grounds. The small spar shop featured on another postcard was beside the roadside, just past the Pavilion, though it almost completely hidden by trees.

Boden's Restaurant had been run by John William Boden, but he did not remain in Matlock Bath following the death of his son in the first war. After the restaurant closed in 1918 the property was taken over by the glove factory. It is difficult to be certain of a date for the third postcard, but the plants around the fish pond were more mature and other features suggest it was taken post war, probably around 1920[2].

Grand Pavilion
The Restaurant sign has been removed, and the windows would have displayed gloves.
There appears to be an open topped car parked outside the Pavilion.
but is too small to see the number plate.

Two significant meetings, one about a local issue and the other a national one, took place here in the Pavilion's early years. In 1912 some 500 striking workers from Lea Hosiery Mills crowded into the building for a meeting. Amongst the speakers was a somewhat reticent C. F. White, who said he had just been to Derby, where the workers had collected £30 that day[3].

In November 1914 a recruitment meeting held in this new Pavilion; Mr. W. Lennox presided and the speakers were Mr. F. C. Arkwright, Dr. Durbridge, Mr. C. F. White, Mr, Webster, Lieut. Marshall and Mr. Jaffrey. In the audience were a number of prominent residents and Henry Clay, secretary of the National Reserve (the 2x great uncle of the web mistress). The speakers realised that a large Army was necessary to win the War and they commented that there were "a large number of eligible men in the district who might go to the recruiting office and come back full of pride to tell their mothers that they had done the finest day's work they had ever done in their lives"[4].

The glove factory had begun trading in the Pavilion during the First World War, providing much needed employment for local women. The gloves were made at the back and the shop was in the front, next to the road. Gloves were undoubtedly on display in the shop's windows on the third image. Unfortunately, there was a catastrophic fire here in January 1929 that destroyed everything and the premises were not rebuilt.

Grand Pavilion
(Kursaal) 1910-12

Grand Pavilion
(The Kursaal) 1915

Pavilion, Obelisk & Spar Shop

Grand Pavilion 1920s

The Ballroom, before 1928

Grand Pavilion, 1930s

Pavilion, 1938

Pavilion Grounds

Industrial Exhibition 1946

Musical Festival 1961

1. "Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath". Published by R. Sneath, Publisher, Change Alley, Sheffield, No. J.V. 635. The Peak Series. Printed in Great Britain. Posted 29 July 1914. © Ann Andrews collection.
2. "The Kursaal, Matlock Bath". Valentine's Series, no. 67558. Registered in 1911. © Maureen Smith collection.
3. "Matlock Bath". No publisher details provided on the card. Unposted. In the collection of, provided by and © Pauline Jordan.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
In early 2023, when the top view was added, the title of this page was changed from of " Matlock Bath: The Grand Pavilion, about 1920", to "Matlock Bath: The Grand Pavilion, from Temple Walk, 1911-20"


[1] "Derbyshire Times", 8 April 1911.

[2] The spar shop was demolished in early 2021. Hard tennis courts were then constructed on its site and on adjacent land.

[3] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 15 January 1912. He could not do more as he was involved in a slander case with Ernest William Barnes of Matlock Bath (see Matlock Bath from the Heights of Jacob, 1920s). By June 1912 the workers were again happily placed, according to Mr. Marsden Smedley.

[4] "Derbyshire Courier", 14 November 1914.