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Matlock: Willersley Castle Estate Sale, 1927
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Arkwright family pedigree

Arkwright & His Cotton Mill

Engraving of Willersley Castle

Contents sale notice

What happened to the Lovers' Walks after the sale

Frederic Charles Arkwright died in 1923. Four years later the Arkwright family's home in Derbyshire, Willersley Castle, together with its estate of around 290 acres, was sold by auction. The property had been advertised for sale by private treaty for some considerable time but had failed to attract a buyer[1]. The image above shows the sale notice for the estate that was printed on the last page of the catalogue[2].

From the advertisement we can see that as well as the mansion, its grounds and lodges the Arkwrights owned two dairy properties - the Home Farm and Willersley Cottage Farm. Also for sale were Lovers' Walks and land around Matlock Bath Station as well as the colour mills in Cromford, the manager's house and the Troy Laundry. There had been an earlier sale in 1924, when the Cromford Colour Mills had received no bids and the Troy Laundry was withdrawn at £2,100[3]. Both properties were therefore re-auctioned in 1927.

The mining and quarry land the Arkwrights owned was not specified, nor was the ground rent they received detailed. The land near Matlock Bath Station was proposed as building land, though it was not built on. Sir Alfred Ball, who bought the Castle, was said to have sold several portions of the estate the following week, including the land at Matlock Bath Station. This was bought by Josiah Smart, the quarry owner[4]. Miss May, the Laundry's proprietress, secured that building to carry on her business[4].

The contents of the house were also disposed of (see contents sale notice).

From the 1927 sale catalogue[2] in the collection of and © Ann Andrews.
Items from the catalogue are included on this site because of the interest of a lady called Kate who lives on Vancouver Island. She spotted the catalogue in a local shop and most generously sent it to sent me - which is how this image comes to be on this site.
Researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only


[1] "Derby Daily Telegraph," 15 March 1927.

[2] From "A Catalogue of the Contents of the Mansion Willersley Castle, Matlock Bath", Knight Frank & Rutley (1927)

[3] "Derbyshire Times", 22 March 1924. Amongst the lots that sold was The Greyhound Hotel (see Scarthin Nick From Allen's Hill, 1892).

[4] "ibid.", 11 June 1927. Willersley Estate.