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Matlock Bath: Royal Hotel and the Church
Matlock Bath : Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Royal Hotel and the Church
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Other views of the obelisk

Donkeys, 19th century

The Grand Pavilion (Kursaal), 1910-12

Grand Pavilion and Spar Shop


The Royal Hotel
and Bathing Establishment

Visitors, 1909

This beautiful view shows the Royal Hotel and the spire of Holy Trinity Church set against the background of the limestone crags of Cat Tor. This hotel had replaced the early eighteenth century Old Bath on the site. The photographer was standing on the sloping drive leading to the Royal Hotel's entrance to take his picture. He was close to the junction with the A6, which sweeps away from the viewer on its way to Cromford. The lower road branching off to the left is the continuation of the main road and passes northwards through the village.

In 1912 J. W. Boden, a local man, wrote an article about the over use of Tufa and the exhaustion of the Tufa beds in Matlock Bath. "In the early days of Matlock Bath the tufa was extensively used for building purposes". He gave a few examples of properties that had been constructed of tufa; "the original Old Bath Hotel was built of it, also the breast wall of the carriage drive, which still exists today"[1]. Whilst the hotel and its grounds have been replaced by the Temple Road car park, the carriage drive's tufa wall still remains, as does the gateway we can see part of the way down.

The area between the obelisk and the hotel's wall was one of the places where, some years before, young men and youths had congregated with their donkeys ready to take the visitors up to the Heights of Abraham. By this time a gas street lamp was on top of the obelisk, but it was eventually removed.

The photograph was probably taken in the Edwardian era, but may date from slightly earlier than that.

"Church and Royal Hotel, Matlock Bath". Unposted, and with G.W.W. the only publisher's mark.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ray Ash.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 26 January 1912. Town and Country Gossip. The article was based on the local knowledge of Mr. J. W. Boden, who had kept the Ferry House prior to its demolition - "his knowledge of the district is scarcely surpassed by that of any other resident".