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In the Via Gellia, about 1929
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Via Gellia, shown on
Firth's 1908 map



Another charming view of part of the Via Gellia, taken about 1929.

Some years before the writer J.B. Firth, however, was not easy to please and he expressed some disappointment at "this much praised highway. Lovely it undoubtedly is, for it lies in a deep ravine, whose limestone sides rise precipitously to a great height and are clad with trees to the very top. Such a road cannot fail to please and the dense mass of varying greens gives perpetual delight to the eye. But when that is said one has said all. The ravine keeps an almost constant width and never discloses its full delights. ... The pedestrian is always being tantalised with the hope that at the next turn of the road there will be a superb prospect, but the prospect never comes"[1].

In 1929 all was not well in the Via Gellia and a complaint was made at a meeting of Bonsall Urban District Council regarding the state of some of the walls and fences. They were in such a bad state that pedestrians were liable to fall into the brook at the roadside. The Council decided to draw the attention of the owners of the nearby mill, E. H. Bailey Ltd., to the matter[2].

This cottage on Via Gellia Road still exists, although it looks slightly different today as the property has been extended in the interim. The chimney stack has been moved to the end of the house furthest from the camera and the stone wall along the front boundary is a little lower.


"Matlock. In the Via Gellia" Published by Judges' Ltd. Postcard Picture by Judges' Ltd., Hastings, England No.11963. Unposted.
In the collection of provided by and © Pauline Jordan.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
References:

[1] Firth, J.B. (1908) "Highways and Byways in Derbyshire" MacMillan & Co., London

[2] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 14 August 1929.