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Matlock Dale: St. John the Baptist Church, Interior
Matlock Dale: Twentieth Century Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
St. John's Church, Cliff Road
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St. John's (1)

St. John's (2)

St. John's (3)

Dawber's Cottages,
Matlock Dale, 1899

Well known craftsmen of the day were employed at St. John's to undertake the plastering and make the stained glass windows for Mrs. Harris and her architect Guy Dawber.

The ceiling is barrel-vaulted and the decorative frieze and arches are shown in the photograph, with a detail below. The exquisite plasterwork was done by George P. Bankart, an extremely skilled plasterer; his design includes birds flying across the ceiling. The bands were coloured by Mr. Louis Davies in the autumn of 1898[1]. Davis, who also created the stained glass window at the east end of the church, was an active member of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

On the walls, which are covered in thin red brick[1], are fourteen large "Stations of the Cross" displayed on the internal brickwork, some of which are shown in the photograph. The closest "Station" to the lectern is entitled below it as "Jesus is placed in the sepulchre" and next to it is "Jesus taken down from the cross". The panelling below the brick, and other fittings, are all made of oak and the flooring in the nave under the seats/pews is wood block[1]. The lectern, too, is exquisite.

Arthur Mee was to describe the interior as "cosy and neat" , with the ceiling's "bands of plasterwork with painted designs of trailing flowers and leaves". He added that the east window - presumably he means the altar window which is actually north easterly - "glows with blue and gold, green and orange"[2].

Plasterwork, detail
There are wide bands of modelled plaster
  Lectern, close up
Lectern, detail

"St. John's Church Interior, Matlock". Ivanhoe Series, Published by J. Crowther Cox, 12, The Crofts, Rotherham. No. 38987. Unposted.
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.


[1] "The Builder", 29 Oct 1898. Private Chapel, Matlock, Derbyshire.

[2] Mee, Arthur (ed.) (1937) "Derbyshire: The Peak Country", The King's England Series, Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London.