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Matlock Dale: Artists' Corner from High Tor, 1920s
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Artists' Corner

Another view of the quarry

Looking down into the Dale from the top of High Tor. There was no pavement on the side of the road that bordered the river at this time and it was not until 1936 that work began to widen the road and add a grass verge and a pavement. It was hoped to alleviate some of the problems caused by the bend of Artists' Corner as the camber was altered[1].

The first building we see along the road to Matlock, opposite the suspension bridge and built on the hillside above the road, is the large property that used to be called Tor Cottage (later the High Tor Hotel); at the time this picture was taken it was the Matlock Garden School[2]. The curved retaining wall in front of the building collapsed in 1939[3].

Next to Tor Cottage, but closer to the camera and to the south of the building, is a quarry which is shown on the 1922 OS map; it "had a small crushing and cleaning plant, worked by a gas engine, for dry stone"[4]. This was the Flax Quarry which closed in 1926[5] following the death of Ernest Carline, a quarryman, shortly after being admitted to hospital after a serious accident at the site (see Another view of the quarry). There were eventually two small quarries between Tor Cottage and Craven Villa, a detached house just a little way down the road towards Matlock Bath. Basalt and some dolomite were quarried in both[4]. The access to the former Tor Cottage has changed in recent times and a new entrance and driveway has been made which begins either on the edge of the disused quarry or next to it.

The rocky outcrop known as Shining Cliff is on the hillside above the bend of Artists' Corner, towering over St. John's Church. Greenhills Farm is on the hillside above the Dale. The area beside the river where, for a couple of centuries, artists used to sit and enjoy a clear view of High Tor was still grassed in the 1920s. Today it is a car park and the views of the Tor are no longer easy to see because of the tree cover.

Another card, showing the quarry, is on Matlock Dale, Just Images.

Published by R. Sneath, Paradise St. Sheffield. Real photograph.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Susan Tomlinson.
Researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

References (coloured inks are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 21 February 1936. The work was expected to take two years to complete. The stretch of road from the Boat House Bridge to Matlock Bath railway approach was to be widened.

[2] See Matlock Modern School: Monthly Letter, March, 1935.

[3] See Matlock: High Tor Guest House & Suspension Bridge.

[4] Mining History: The Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Volume 14, No. 2, Winter 1999.

[5] With thanks to Colin Goodwyn for identifying the quarry. The information about the quarry's closure was from Mr. Frank Clay, kindly passed on by Colin.