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High Tor, Matlock Dale. A photograph taken by the webmistress's late father and copyright his estate
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High Torr, 1751


Chantrey's drawing, 1822

High Tor and the Colour Works

High Tor - Rock Face

High Tor,
Switzerland View

Derbyshire Stone 1955 Christmas card

The limestone crags of High Tor tower over the River Derwent and this is one of the most spectacular scenes in the county. This stunning winter scene, photographed by the webmistress's late father, reflects the description Ebenezer Rhodes wrote almost 200 years ago.

"This stupendous cliff ... to which the mass of wood, and the deep silent stream that lay enveloped in a dark shadow in the dale below, formed an imposing contrast[1]".

The valley is at its narrowest here, and the equally high Masson hill towers above the opposite side of the valley. Masson is considerably higher than High Tor, but from below High Tor is the scene that catches the eye. A century or more ago High Tor was known as Eagle Crag because Fish Eagles used to nest here[2]. Another rare bird was to be found in the Museum Garden in the 1820s[3].

The iron and wood suspension bridge, built in 1903, has now been demolished.

High Tor is popular with climbers and they are to be seen scaling the rock face almost every weekend. The Derwent cuts through solid rock at this point and canoeists practice obstacle courses here, though more restful types of boating can be enjoyed in the centre of Matlock Bath.

Read poems about High Tor on Matlock and Matlock Bath: Inspiration of Poets
J. P. Malcolm described High Torr in a piece for The Gentleman's Magazine in 1793. This is transcribed elsewhere on this site (p.44).

Photograph, part of the Frank Clay collection, and additional information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Image rescanned and enlarged April, 2009.
Intended for personal use only.
Image and text originally part of derbyspics.htm and later derbys.htm that were elsewhere on this website.

References (coloured links go to on site transcripts):

[1] Rhodes, Ebenezer (1824) "Peak Scenery" pub. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row.

[2] Matlock Bath & Scarthin Newspaper Cuttings, 1823. An article about an eagle that was shot, but was to be preserved. Whilst today such an act would be illegal, there was a huge interest in nature, etc., in the early nineteenth century.

[3] Matlock Bath & Scarthin Newspaper Cuttings, 1828.