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Matlock Bath: The 1881 Water Fountain
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B-P at the Parade in 1917

Baden Powell Scouts, 1933 - Bugle & Drums (1)

Baden Powell Scouts, 1933 - Bugle & Drums (2)

The Royal Hotel, with the large extension

On the roadside directly opposite the Grand Pavilion is a small tufa crenellated stone shelter; next to it is this fountain. It was made in 1881 and erected just a little further down the road, but had to be moved to its current position in 1986. The fountain was cast by the engineering contractors Handyside of Derby, the engineering and iron foundry company that built Friargate Bridge in Derby and the iron girders for Lancaster Market as well as making lots of post boxes![1] A report about its completion stated that "it was almost a dozen years in the making, and ought to meet with public approbation, and be very creditable to its promoters"[2].

Above it is a stone plaque commemorating 1st Matlock Bath Scouts in King George VI's jubilee year (1935) when the fountain was restored for the second time.

Scout Jubilee

The first restoration was undertaken following the first Conference of Scout Commissioners that was held at the Royal Hotel in 1917. To mark the occasion the Scouts of the 1st Matlock Troop, having marched from Matlock, attended a service at Holy Trinity Church before going to the Royal Hotel grounds where they were inspected by the Chief Scout, General Sir Robert Baden Powell[3].

Plaque erected by Derbyshire Dales District Council in 1986

Date at the top
Close up of the top of the fountain

Photographs taken by and © Ken Smith. Scanned by and © Ann Andrews.
Research written, researched and provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] Information from Ken Smith. "Kelly's Directory, 1912" shows Andrew Handyside & Co. Ltd. at Britannia Works, Duke Street, Derby.

[2] "Derbyshire Courier," 23 July 1881. Drinking Fountain at Matlock Bath.

[3] "The Times", 19 Mar, 1917 and "The High Peak News", 24 Mar 1917. The date has unfortunately been mistakenly recorded as 1928 in at least two books about Matlock & Matlock Bath. This event did not take place in 1928 at Smedley's. Baden Powell's diaries have been checked and no event took place in Matlock in that year.