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Matlock Dale: Artists' Corner from Pic Tor
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Artists' Corner from Pic Tor
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In January 1890 Mr. Charles Peters, who lived at Guilderoy in Matlock Bath[1], showed great foresight by making an extremely generous gesture to prevent development at Artists' Corner. He paid £200 to Messrs. Wilshire and Grundy of Derby for the purchase of eleven lots of land along the river bank opposite High Tor that were already in the hands of "building speculators" with the intention of building cottages. Mr. Peters and a committee set up for the purpose then raised subscriptions to pay for the land.

The outlay was for a public promenade and to protect the scenery at Matlock Dale, thus preventing "the blocking up of the view from the main thoroughfare[2]". More land for the scheme was promised by Mr. Arkwright if a further plot could be secured. This was a piece of land that belonged to Mr. Wilcockson of Chesterfield that was then occupied by Henry Martin.

This photograph, which was taken from Pic Tor, shows some of the plots of land. The railway track below is just about discernable amongst the trees. Bottom right is the iron footbridge over the River Derwent and on the other side of the road was Greatorex's tar boiling house[3]. Next to it are the cottages designed by Sir Guy Dawber and the Matlock / Matlock Bath boundary bisects the road almost immediately past that point. St. John's Road forks off to the right and the main road, on which there is a pony and trap, bends round to Artists' Corner. Up on the hill, past Shining Cliff, are two further properties. It is hard to identify them as they are not easy to see, but they must be Cliff House and Masson Farm.

"Matlock Dale" Valentine's Series, No.79695, registered in 1914 and posted 6 Sep 1916 at Matlock. Sent to Mrs. Clarke, Cleveleys, Nr. Blackpool
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Ken Smith.
Image scanned for this website and information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links go to more on site information):

[1] Mr. Peters was at Guilderoy in the 1881 census | the 1891 census. He was also listed in Kelly's 1891 Directory. See Biographies (P)

[2] Matlock Dale Promenade Scheme, reported in "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, 8 January, 1890. Benjamin Bryan, in his "History of Matlock" (1903) also mentions the purchase

[3] There is more information about Greatorex's tar boiling business on the page about The Quarries