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Matlock Bath: Upper Wood
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A rare photograph of Upper Wood
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Upper Wood, about 1890

Heights of Jacob
Fluor Spar Cavern
(Jacob's Cave)

Mrs. Mary Widdowson

Angelina Woodiwiss

This is one of only two pictures of Upperwood, high on the hill above Matlock Bath and about 700 feet above sea level. Riber Castle stands out on the far hillside and Starkholmes is below it. The card's title is slightly misleading as most of Matlock Bath is out of site!

The house centre left, only partly seen, has washing in the garden (like two eyes in a mask!) is Valley View where, in 1908, Charles Gregory let out apartments[1]. The web mistress is uncertain what the property next door is called. Below these two houses is a road junction and just below the junction, on the left, is the entrance to the Speedwell Cavern. In the mid nineteenth century Benjamin Froggatt, who also lived in Upper Wood, was the cavern guide[2]. The cavern is opposite a small cottage called Iris Cottage, known as Angelina's Cottage.

On the right is a further group of houses, the largest of which is Upperwood Farm and this photograph shows the building with an extension on the left hand end (the farmhouse had not been extended on the nineteenth century picture elsewhere on the site). Daniel Massey was the farmer here at the end of the nineteenth century and he was followed by James Steeples[3]. An article published about the farm in 1914 described the working of the farm as somewhat laborious because of the slope. On occasion heavy carting meant the farmer had to use sleighs instead of wheeled vehicles. Nevertheless, this farm had been in the hands of two good farmers in succession - first Mr. Massey and then Mr. Steeples. The Steeples' landlord was Colonel Cantrell Hubbersty[4]. Col. Hubbersty died in 1915 and his property was auctioned over the next few years.

Another house is mostly hidden from view by the farm - this is Cumberland House, or Cumberland Lodge as it was in 1901[5]. In the area between Cumberland House and the other unnamed building is where the Zoo Tea Gardens were.

James Potter was farming in Upper Wood in 1916 - see Kelly's.

Read Betjeman's poem that mentions Upper Wood on Matlock and Matlock Bath: Inspiration of Poets

Postcard "Matlock Bath from the Heights of Jacob", No.484-21, in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Image scanned for this website and information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

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

[1] See Kelly's 1908 Directory

[2] Benjamin Froggatt advertised in White's Directory 1852 | White's Directory 1857 | White's Directory 1862.

[3] Daniel Massey was at Upperwood Farm in Kelly's Directory 1895 | Kelly's Directory 1899 | 1901 census. James Steeples was at the farm in Kelly's Directory 1908. Also see the Steeples' MI.

[4] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 3 January 1914. Illustrated Local Farm Sketch. Upperwood Farm, Matlock Bath. No. 179.

[5] Cumberland Lodge was listed in the 1901 census. Matlock Bath addresses were imprecise in earlier census returns.