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Matlock Bath: Photograph of Dale Road From High Tor
Matlock Dale: Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
Dale Road from the top of High Tor
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Brunswood Terrace

Holme Road
from High Tor
(compare the two images)

An early twentieth century photograph of Dale Road, taken from the top of High Tor. It is similar to Matlock Bath: Holme Road from High Tor, but the trees are not in leaf here and the photographer is looking down towards the Derwent river valley rather than photographing a panorama of the village. It is was also probably taken slightly earlier as the trees are less mature.

The groups of three storey houses on the roadside form Brunswood and Dale Terraces, with Nestors to their right. We can see also the iron footbridge spanning the river. The houses stand, like some other properties in Matlock Bath, on land that had previously been quarried and the rock face is not far behind them.

To the left of the terraces is the gated driveway of the former vicarage and further along are the houses of Midland Terrace. The Parochial Hall had not been built. To the right of, and behind, the two terraces is Long Tor Quarry and there is a large hoarding next to the quarrymen's hut. Further down Dale Road towards Matlock, and on the bottom right of the picture, is Mr. and Mrs. Whittaker's Derwent House that stands next to their pop works (the works were eventually demolished)[1]. There are various small buildings on the left of the house, including the one with the sunshade where Mrs. Whittaker sold souvenirs and trinkets. The other buildings include the entrance to the cavern that the Whittaker family used to show to visitors (see next image).

The excavated quarry area had been part of Key Pasture Wood[2]. If you look carefully to the left of Brunswood Terrace, slightly to the right of where the Copper Beeches now are, you can just about see a pathway going up behind the houses on the very edge of Long Tor that connected with Masson Road. The path goes beside a shiny roof which belongs to Brunswood House - the property has various small conifers in the front garden. This was the old boundary mentioned in, for example, the description provided by the Enumerator for the 1901 census[3].

The Long Tor Quarry was owned by Mr S J Claye of Long Eaton Ironworks in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In 1855 William Adam said "The Long Tor ... is a bold off-shoot of Masson, extending eastwards into the submergence of the rocks at this point"[4]. In 1909 the nonagenarian Thomas Green described what happened when "the first shot was fired in that beautiful rock", which had been described by Dr. Darwin as the "Jaws of the Matlock Dale". Mr Milner, a Matlock solicitor, was passing by on his horse, and both the horse and its rider took fright! Thomas Green conducted blasting operations that, in his words, completely destroyed the beauty of the Long Tor Rock but added that the quarrying there had provided employment for a large number of men for many years[5].

What is also worth noting are both the number of pedestrians and the lack of vehicles. There are a couple of horse drawn carts waiting by the entrance to the station approach[6].

Photograph 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 Whittaker's Bottling Plant, Dale Road

[2] See the 1848 Tithe Map, Derbyshire Record Office.

[3] See the beginning of Enumeration District 15 of the 1901 census

[4] Adam, W. (1857, 6th edition) "The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and Its Vicinity. ... John and Charles Mozley, Derby and 6, Paternoster Row, London; Bemrose ....

[5] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 19 June 1909. Mr. Green kept the Rock Inn on Holt Lane (see the 1891 census and the 1901 census)

[6] See Matlock Bath and the Heights of Abraham, 1890s