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Matlock Bath: The Promenade, about 1904-05
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Late 1905

Jubilee Bridge, about 1900-05

We can see the layout of the pre 1906 Promenade with the wide walkway next to the river, the original garden layout and the simple low fencing on the boundary with the road. In 1897 the Promenade had been gravelled with limestone chippings purchased from the local firm of Messrs Greatorex and Son in Matlock Dale[1].

This postcard almost certainly dates from 1904 or 1905. Things were soon to change. In the week of 18-23 September 1905 Matlock Bath's Urban District Council held several meetings to put into operation the provisions of the new Matlock Bath Improvement Act, 1905, which had received the Royal Assent on August 4th. The Council wished to deal with the Act in sections and the first part to be adopted was part V. This concerned the Promenade grounds rented by the Council. The clerk, Mr. F. C. Lymn, was directed to give all owners on the left bank of the river, opposite the Parade, "notice to treat" for the sale of the land to the Council. In other words, the Council wanted to compulsorily purchase land they did not already own under the powers they had been given by the new Act and they needed to agree a price with the owners. The area extended from the railway station to the Devonshire Hotel property. The new law was expected to be in full working order by the following Easter (1906), when the promenades were to be enclosed, with a charge made for admission of not more than 2d per head. The income from this was estimated at £800 a year and with money raised entertainments, bands, etc., were to be maintained as visitor attractions. However, the ratepayers and residents were to be admitted free to the Promenades, as in the past[2].

In April 1906 the "Manchester Courier" stated that the Council had just enclosed the four or five miles of free walks which were opened in the Jubilee year as a memorial to Queen Victoria. Initially the Council had also wanted to introduce dancing in a marquee on the Lovers' Walks but the idea was abandoned[3].

Interestingly, Matlock UDC opposed the Bill whilst it was going through Parliament and had spent £1,213 10s. 9d. in the process[4].


About 1900

Before 1902

Before 1905

Before 1904

About 1902

About 1905

About 1915


Tufa fountain

War memorial

Band stand

Road widening

"Matlock Bath". J. Welch & Sons, Portsmouth. British Throughout. Unposted.A coloured version of this card was posted in 1904.
Image in the collection of, provided by and © Pauline Jordan
Information researched by © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only


[1] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 6 March 1897.

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 23 September 1905.

[3] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 12 April 1906.

[4] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 3 October 1905. Councillor Wildgoose claimed Matlock UDC had gained a victory. The Council resolved to send their bills to the taxing master of the House of Commons.