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The Haddon Hall Hydro, Buxton

Haddon House Hydropathic Establishment was first advertised by Mr. Richard H. Freckingham in 1882; he claimed his establishment was "in one of the healthiest parts of Buxton, and every comfort can be had both for Visitors and Patients. There is a good supply of good water"[1]. He had "discovered a new remedy for dropsy, which never fails to cure nine cases out of ten"[1].

Richard Freckingham had arrived in Buxton from Matlock, where he had previously run a hydropathic establishment at Rose Cottage on the Dimple[2].. His Buxton advertisements were often accompanied by a recommendation from the late John Smedley. He had worked for Smedley for twelve years[3] as his head bathman[4] before setting up his own establishment in about 1869[5].

He built the large hydropathic establishment on London Road in the late 1880s, completing the work some two to three years before his death. It had 41 bedrooms and a double set of baths. Unfortunately, Mr. Freckingham died at his hydro on 1 Jan 1891, aged 54[4]. His two surviving daughters remained at the hydro for a short while afterwards[6].

The first sale notice for Haddon House appeared not long after Richard Freckingham's death, but it had still not sold by 1902 when it was unsuccessfully put up for auction. For some reason the freehold property was withdrawn during the auction[7].

Mr R Freckingham can with confidence undertake the most difficult cases, having had many years experience under J Smedley Esq, who permits RF patients to consult him without charge.
Board Lodgings and treatment, £1 1s to £1 5s a week.
("Manchester Times", 29 April 1871[8])
Haddon House Hydropathic Establishment. Richard Freckingham, Proprietor, has 28 years' experience and gives personal attention to the Baths. Good Table. Home Comforts. Terms 30s. to 35s. per week. Good Bath Houses.
(Kelly's Directory 1887[12])

It may not have sold for some years but by September 1891 George Edwin Hall had become the proprietor of Haddon Grove Hydropathic and Health Resort[9]. The following month an advertisement for Haddon Hall and Haddon Grove Hydropathics announced they had a photographic dark room available. Smedley's at Matlock had the same facility[10]. Mr. Hall died at the end of 1901; his wife Elizabeth continued as its proprietress for some years (see her advertisement below).

Advertisement from Ward Lock & Co's "Guide to Matlock, Dovedale, Etc.",
Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (Guide Series 1903-4)

By 1911 Mrs. Kate Little, from Castlereagh, was the hydro's manageress and her husband John, from Liverpool, was its Managing Director[11.

Advertisement from Ward Lock & Co's "Matlock, Dovedale, Bakewell and South Derbyshire",
Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (1932-3).

The hydro was still open after the Second World War, when it was still being run by the Olivers (see 1932-3 advertisement, above). However, the building was taken over by the Electricity Board, was then turned into flats and bedsits and in 2007 was boarded up[13]. There was a destructive fire in 2010 and by 2012 the building had been demolished, the demolition materials had been crushed and a care home was being proposed for the site. The Haddon Hall Care Home is now open.

"The Haddon Hall Hydro, Buxton", The Bristol Printing and Publishing Co., Ltd., Bristol. Unused.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Judy Cooper.
Ward Lock advertisements © Ann Andrews collection.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 10 June 1882. Advertisement for Haddon House Hydropathic Establishment, Buxton.

[2] See his entries in the 1871 census, Kelly's 1876 Directory (under Matlock Bank) and the 1881 census in the Matlock section of this web site.

[3] In 1861 Richard Freckingham was employed as a bathman (1861 census).

[4] Taken from obituary notices published in the "Sheffield Independent", 3 January 1891, and "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", January 1891.

[s] They were still there at the time of the 1891 census. See their names amongst Matlock Strays (F).

[5] "John Smedley of Matlock" (1888), John Heywood, Manchester & London. Re-published by the Arkwright Society, c/o Tawney House, Matlock.

[7] The hydro was advertised as for sale several times in 1891, with the first sale notice appearing in the "Yorkshire Evening Post" on 14 January 1891. A report on the auction was published in the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph" on 17 October 1902 when the trustees under the will of late Mr. Richard Freckingham were attempting to sell the freehold property.

[8] The advertisement for Rose Cottage was found by Kathleen Hawkins.

[9] "Lichfield Mercury", 4 September 1891.

[10] "Buxton Advertiser", 12 October 1901.

[11 1911 census (see FindMyPast) and Kelly's 1912 Directory (Haddon Hall Hydropathic Establishment, Mrs. Little, Manageress).

[12] "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire" (1887) pub. Kelly & Co., 51 Gt. Queen Street, W.C. Part of an advertisement "for those visiting Buxton". This was probably his newly built hydro.

[13] From Keith Jones of the Peak Genealogy and Local History Site (unfortunately, this site is now unavailable).

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