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Matlock Bath: Woodbank, 1910
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Woodbank, taken about 1910
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Masson Mill from Harp Edge, about 1900

The Rutland Arms and Fairview Terrace

The Rutland Arms and Masson Mill

A coloured picture of Woodbank and Arkwright's Mason Mill. This was the view of the house and Mill from Harp Edge, looking across the Derwent valley to the spectacular limestone outcrop of Cat Tor.

The photograph was probably taken shortly before John Edward Lawton, the builder of this grand house, and his family left Matlock Bath. In June 1910 Mr. Lawton was the defendant in a case brought by a Mr. Ernest Ridgill of Dronfield which concerned extracting grease from sponge, cloth, wool and seeds. The judgment went for the plaintiff in both the claim and a counter claim[1]. In late November and early December the same year the contents of the house were auctioned. They were described as "costly" in Knight, Frank and Rutley's advertisement. As well as furniture, rugs, carpets and china there were books and oil paintings, water colour drawings and etchings by and after Whistler, H. Hadfield Cubley, Featherstonehaugh, Appleton, Turner and Knox. The appointments of 32 bedrooms were also being sold[2]. The number of bedrooms in the property varied depending on which newspaper report you read!

Below Woodbank, in the valley, are a cluster of houses on the main road that included Fairview Terrace and the Rutland Arms public house. Some of these properties disappeared when the A6 road through Matlock Bath was widened.

"At Easter, 1910, to the South of Masson Mill, stood a pretty house in a well-kept garden filled with lillies, roses, and dahlias, according to the season, and sloping nearly to the banks of the Derwent", which we can see in the valley below Woodbank. Masson Mill was extended in 1911. Building began in the first week of January and when the work was nearing completion a local paper commented that "the sole regret in its accomplishment is this demolition of the little garden". The garden's owner, the mill's foreman Mr. Gregory, aquiesced.[3]. The view of the valley had changed dramatically.

The card was sent to L (Louis?) Pearson Esq c/o Mrs Pearson of Southport. The message contained the instruction:

"Please save this P.C."

The previous card, Woodbank, later Cromford Court, has much more information about both the house and the Lawton family

There is more about Woodbank (Cromford Court)


1. "Woodbank, Matlock Bath". Derbyshire "Artistic" Series, published by G. Marsden & Son, Wirksworth and London. No.3320.
Posted 26 Oct 1910 at Matlock Bath.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Buxton Advertiser", 4 June 1910. Mr. Lawton's address was given as Woodbank.

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 25 November 1910. The sale was held on Wednesday 30th November and Thursday 1st December.

[3] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 5 May 1911. Masson Mill Extension, Matlock. Mr. Gregory would have been Reuben Gregory who, in the 1901 census was an overlooker at Masson Mill but in 1911 was described as an Under Manager there.