(See list of "Notables and Tradesmen")
MATLOCK parish is of great extent, containing 4,513A. 2R. 35P, of land, and in 1851 had 903 houses and 4010 inhabitants, of whom 1911 were males and 2099 females; rateable value £9126 2s. William Pole Thornhill, Esq.,M.P., is lord of the manor. The principal land owners are, Peter Arkwright, Esq., W. E. Nightingale, Esq., Rev. John Woolley, Charles Clark, John Garton, and George Allen, Esqrs., and Sir Joseph Paxton. Its surface is about equally divided between limestone and gritstone, and is chiefly used for grazing purposes. The scenery is picturesquely broken into hill and dale, and is watered by the Derwent and several smaller streams. The parish includes Matlock Bath, Cromford Bridge, Scarthing Row, Lumsdale, Riber, Starkholmes, and Willersley, and its chief manufactures are cotton spinning, framework knitting, spar ornaments, hats, and cotton wick. The corn mills, bleach works, and paper mill, also furnish employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants.
MATLOCK anciently called Mestesford, is pleasantly situated on the banks of the Derwent, 8 miles S. from Bakewell, 9 miles S.W. by S. from Chesterfield, 17 miles N. by W. from Derby, and 144 miles N.N.W. from London. It formerly had a weekly market, but it has been obsolete about 40 years; it is, however, the intention of the inhabitants to re-establish it. Fairs are held February 25th, April 2nd, May 9th, July 6th, and October 4th, and 25th. In 1849 the Midland Railway Co. opened a branch line of railway from Ambergate to Rowsley, with stations at Matlock Bath and Matlock Bridge, which has been of considerable advantage to the neighbourhood, and if extended to Manchester, as anticipated, the influx of visitors will no doubt be greatly increased. The manor of Matlock is described in Domesday book as part of the King's demense of Mestesford. which is supposed to have been at a place called Nestes or Nestus, a little mining village at the foot of a high hill on the north side of the old Bath. This opinion is confirmed by the name of Nestes Side being formerly given to the Heights of Abraham, and the Rutland Cavern is still held under the title of Nestes Mine. Beneath these Heights is supposed to have existed a ford for the miners to pass, hence the name of Mestesford or Nestesford The manor belonged at an early period to the Ferrers family as parcel of the Wapentake of Wirksworth. It was successively parcel of the earldom and duchy of Lancaster, till the year 1628, when it was granted to Edward Lichfield and others, in trust for the Corporation of the City of London, by whom it was conveyed to three other persons, as trustees for the copyholders of the manor, and the rights have ever since been vested in a succession of such trustees. A Roman pig of lead, 17½ inches long, and 20½ at bottom, weighing 173 pounds, was found on Matlock Moor, in the year 1787. The following inscription appears in raised letters on the top:-
TI. CL. TR. LVT. BR. EX. ARG.
Another weighing 126 pounds, was found on Cromford Moor near Matlock, in the year 1777, having the following inscription, in raised letters:-
IMP. CAES. HADRIANI. AUG. MET. LVT.
A third was found near Matlock, in 1783, weighing 84 pounds, 19 inches long at the top and 4 at the bottom, inscribed thus:-
L. ARVCONI, VERECOND, MEAL. LVTVD.
Various conjectures have been formed respecting some parts of these inscriptions, but if we conceive the LVT and the LVTVD to be contractions of LUTUDARUM, a Roman station, supposed to be Chesterfield, much of the difficulty will vanish. By this mode of interpretation, the first will be found to have belonged to the emperor Caesar Hadrian Augustus, from the metallic district of Lutudarum. These are now placed in the British Museum, and the very inspection is sufficient to prove they were thus prepared for articles of commerce. Mr. Pegge has conjectured that one of these pigs bears so early a date as the time of the emperor Claudius; and if this were the fact, it would go far to prove that the mines in the Peak were worked by the natives before the Roman invasion, as it is highly improbable that in so short a time after the landing of the Romans, they should have so far subdued the Coritani in the central part of the island, as to have established their own works in this remote district; or if, as other antiquarians have contended, this lead formed part of the tribute paid by the islanders themselves to the Roman emperor, it would carry up the British trade to a very remote period. The Church, an ancient embattled structure, dedicated to St. Giles, is situated on the verge of a precipitous rock, embosomed in thick foliage ; it contains nave, chancel, side aisles, and square tower with 6 bells. The chancel is about to be thoroughly restored. It contains an ancient monument to Anthony Woolley, (who died in 1578), and Agnes his wife. The ceiling is ornamented with rude paintings, and suspended from the gallery are numerous garlands made of paper, relies of an ancient custom that formerly existed in many parts of England. They were generally hung up at the funeral of young females, and carried before the corpse to the Church by two of the most intimate companions of the deceased. A small organ was erected in 1844, at a cost of about £100. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's book, at £11 2s. 6d., now at £400; in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield, and enjoyed by the Rev. William Rylance Melville, M.A., who resides at the rectory, a large ancient mansion a little S. of the Church. An ancient carved font was taken out of the Church some years ago, and is now in the rector's garden. The Independents have a large handsome chapel situated on the Green, it was erected in 1848, at a cost of about £700; and in 1845 a large Sunday school was added at the back of it. The Rev. Saml. Dial, is the pastor. A neat Wesleyan chapel was built at Matlock bridge, in 1840, at a cost of about £300. The Primitive Methodists have a small chapel, built in 1838, on Matlock Bank. And the Wesleyan Reformers a small chapel at Matlock Bridge. The Free School, endowed by George Spateman, in 1647, having become greatly dilapidated, a large handsome new school was built of stone in 1829, on Tagg Hill, in which 40 boys are taught free; for which the master receives £30 per annum, and a house rent free, with the privilege of taking any other pupils who may offer; Robert Bunting is the schoolmaster. The particulars of the endowment are given with the charities of this parish. The Girl's National School, Matlock Town, was built by subscription, in 1816. It is partly supported by voluntary contributions, and partly by the weekly pence of the children. Both are used as Sunday schools, and are numerously attended.
BATHS-The Baths which have been established at Matlock Town, within the last few years, have not as yet attained that wide spread celebrity, which has been obtained by its more fortunate neighbour Matlock Bath, nevertheless, the support which they have hitherto received affords strong evidence that the Hydropathy system is not without its friends and supporters; and from their close proximity to the beautiful and picturesque scenery of the Dale, it is more than probable, that in a few years they will prove a formidable yet friendly rival, for a share of the public patronage which is enjoyed in such an eminent degree by its elder sister. There are at this time three Hydropathic establishments here, viz., Mr. John Smedley's, near Matlock Bridge Station; Mr. Ralph Davis's, Matlock Bank; and Mr. John Roger's, Matlock Green; the largest of which is under the management of Mr. Smedley. The situation of this house is highly advantageous to health, being sheltered from the north and east winds, by a lofty range of hills; the interior is comfortably furnished, and has all the necessary apparatus for carrying out the treatment, with water of the softest and purest nature. In the centre of the Town and near to the Old Market Cross, is a fine limetree, supposed to have been planted at the same time and by the same person who planted the one in the gardens of the New Bath Hotel. Here are several Lodges of Odd Fellows and Friendly Societies. Feast, first Sunday after September 8th. The Boat House Inn, Old Lane, pleasantly situated close to the river Derwent, is fitted up with every convenience conducive to the comfort of visitors, who can at a minute's notice be supplied with boats for a row on the river, if their inclination so leads them. The Horse Shoe Inn, Matlock Green, is a large good house recently erected of stone; and has excellent stabling and lock-up coach houses, with every other convenience and comfort for parties either on business or pleasure.
MATLOCK BATH, distant 1½ miles from the village of Matlock, and 6 miles from Ambergate station, has long been celebrated for its medicinal springs, salubrious air, and the surpassing beauty and grandeur of its scenery. The cold winds of the north and east spend their violence on the huge hills around, and but rarely sweep through the valley. Hence it is, that, during the colder parts of the year, the temperature of Matlock is comparatively mild, which renders it so desirable a winter's residence for invalids. Even winter here seems shorn of its terrors. The frosts are embued with an exhilarating spirit; and the snows, undisturbed by currents of air, fall softly, like descending doves, into the bosom of the vale, and feather the trees with beauty. "The scenery of Matlock dale," observes a writer in the Beauties of England and Wales, "is seen to great advantage when approached from its northern extremity. The picturesque beauties of the dale then succeed each other in a gradation which render their grandeur and effect more impressive. The attention is first arrested by a vast rampart of limestone rock, clothed with yews, elms, and limes of singular beauty and foliage. Further on, the High Tor bursts upon the sight in extreme magnificence, rearing its awful brow nearly 400 feet high. The lower part is covered with small trees and underwood, but the upper part for fifty or sixty yards is one broad mass of bare perpendicular rock, standing, in the pride of its gigantic strength, pre-eminently the Monarch of the Dale. The fragments that have fallen from this eminence form the bed of the river which flows immediately below; the foaming waters dashing over the obstructing masses with restless rapidity and considerable noise, give an air of greater interest to the sublime scene." Immediately opposite the High Tor, is Masson hill, an abrupt acclivity, stretching 803 feet high, which overlooks the county to a great distance. A portion of this mountain, at an elevation of 516 feet, is named the Heights of Abraham, where several neat mansions have been erected which command a picturesque view of nearly the whole of the Dale. The path to the summit has been carried in a winding or zigzag course, and on various places on each side rows of firs have been planted, which, opening at different elevations, admit the eye to range over the beautiful scenery beneath. The romantic cliff, which forms the eastern boundary of the Dale, is seen with pleasing effect front the Old Bath, where the river recedes in a curve from the road, and a little strip of meadow composes the foreground. On crossing the river near this place, the Lover's Walk is seen winding its course on the margin of the water, arched by the intermingled branches of the trees which enclose it. For those who love the scenery of nature, let them go to the top of Stonnis, better known by the named of Black Tors, and look down upon Matlock from this eminence. "How glorious the prospect! how varied! how beautiful!" "I stood," says Mr. Rhodes, "on the top of Stonnis; masses of rock lay scattered at my feet,-a grove of pines waved their dark branches over my head;-far below, embosomed in an amphitheatre, one of the finest landscapes that nature anywhere presents was spread before me. The habitations of man -some near, and others far apart-were scattered over the scene; but in the contemplation of the woods and rocks of Matlock Dale, the windings of the Derwent, the pine crowned Heights of Abraham, and the proud hill of Masson, they were all forgotten. The structures man had reared seemed as nothing amidst the beauty and grandeur of the works of God." The walks and rides in the immediate vicinity of Matlock are deeply interesting and highly instructive; to those attached to botanical pursuits, the variety and beauty of natures garden, peculiar to the locality, will be highly gratifying. The geologist may speculate on the disrupted stated of the stratification; and the mineralogist will be delighted with the variety and gradations of colour found in its sparkling gems.
BATHS.-In all the baths the water is slightly tepid-68° Fahrenheit; they are in consequence, extremely pleasant at all seasons of the year. For medicinal purposes they are but rarely taken inwardly, yet some physicians have greatly extolled their efficacy. Dr. F. Armstrong says, "I have taken great pains to examine particularly into the properties of Matlock springs, and may with truth assert, that they are of the same nature as the Bristol waters-preferable in some cases, and equal in all." He also adds, "I have, in the course of seven years, sent a great number of patients to Matlock, and in cases where medicine had not the least prospect of being serviceable, all of whom have had perfect and lasting cures." The Matlock waters occupied much of the attention of the late Dr. Darwin, whose principal observations were sent to the Rev. Mr. Pilkington, and afterwards published in his "View of Derbyshire." The very interesting communication, and the light it casts upon the origin of warm springs, must be our apology for its insertion.
Several philosophers have supposed that the warm springs of this country acquire their heat from the chemical decomposition of pyrites; and it was affirmed by the late Mr. Tissington, which has been lately cited in an ingenious work of Mr. Kirwan on mineralogy, that the warm water about Matlock owed its heat to the blue marl, which is mixed with pyrites, and is found in the thin strata above and below the beds of lava or toadstone. But it has been observed that, though warm water was found sometimes in these beds of pyrites and marl, yet that no smell or taste then attended it, which must have occurred if the pyrites had been in a state of decomposition; and secondly, that cold water was found in these beds oftener than warm. The arguments in favour of another opinion appear to me to be much more conclusive, viz., that the water of these springs is raised in vapour by subterraneous fires deep in the earth, and that this vapour is condensed under the surface of the mountains in the vicinity of the springs. The heat of these springs has been invariable, perhaps for many centuries, certainly as long as we have had good thermometers, which shows that the water which they arise from is in a boiling state in some part of the earth; for as boiling water acquires a certain degree of heat, viz. 212°, the steam which arises from it (when it is not confined) must always be of that degree of heat. Now, the internal parts of the earth, a few feet below the surface, being always, both in winter and summer of 48 degrees of heat, it follows that, if the steam of water, after it is condensed, flows through a given distance of the cold earth, it will become cooled from 212° to some degree of heat above 48°, proportional to the distance between the mountain in which it is condensed and the place of its exit, and thus may, for many ages, preserve an uniformity of the degree of heat, which could not happen if it was produced by chemical combinations of materials near the surface of the earth. In the very dry summer of 1780, when all the cold springs in this part of the country either totally ceased or were much diminished, I was well informed on the spot, both at Matlock and Buxton, that the warm springs had suffered no observable decrease of their water, whence I conclude that the sources of these warm springs were at a much greater depth beneath the surface of the earth than the cold ones, and that, on that account, the water must first have been raised in the form of steam from those great depths.
Another circumstance shews that the source of many of these waters is situated beneath the origin of the cold springs, even after the steam which produces them is condensed into water, which is, that their heat continues always the same both in winter and summer, in wet seasons and in dry, which evinces that no cold water from the dews or springs, in consequence of them, is mixed with these sources of warm water.
"Indeed, one of the springs at Matlock had much cold water mixed with it, till a miner proposed an ingenious device to separate them, which was by fixing pipes into the mouth of the spring to raise the hot water before its exit above the place where the cold springs enter into it, and thus preserve the warm water unmixed. The rocks of limestone in all this part of the country abound with perpendicular clefts, in which are found the ores of zinc, lead, and copper; and it is hence probable, that not only the steam of water, at present, which produces these warm springs, but that those metals themselves, and the floor, or baroselenite, which attends them have, in former ages, been raised into those perpendicular clefts by the great subterraneous fires which raised the continents and islands from the primeval ocean.
"The existence of central fires in the earth in the early ages of the world, is demonstrated by the elevation of the solid parts of the globe above the ocean; and the shattered condition of its strata which the immense masses of lava then produced, which go under the names of toadstone basalts, moorstone, porphyry, and granite, are so well explained in Mr. Whitehurst's, and in Dr. Hutton's theories of the earth. The present existence of central fires seems probable, from the many volcanoes, which are spiracula, or chimneys belonging to those great fires; and it is probable that by the escape of elastic vapours from these, is owing the small extent of modern earthquakes compared with those of remote antiquity, of which the vestiges remain all over the globe. Another argument for the present existence of immense subterraneous fires, is, that the great earthquake at Lisbon produced undulations in the lakes of Scotland, and was felt in the mines of Derbyshire, (Philos. Transactions,) which could not easily happen but by a percussion on one side of a confined fluid lava, which would be propagated to the other, as striking the gentlest blow on one side of a bladder distended with water is felt by the hand placed on the other side; to which may he added, that, in some mines, the deeper you descend the warmer you perceive them.
"Because there are springs of hot water in all countries where open volcanoes evidently exist, whence, from analogy, we may conclude that the hot springs in countries where open volcanoes have existed, but are not now open,, are owing to the same cause acting in a less powerful manner.
"Add to this, that if those waters had been heated by the chemical decomposition of pyrites, some of them at least would probably have retained chalybeate taste, or sulphurous smell, or that they would all of them have been impregnated with some similar material, which, on the chemical analysis of these waters of Buxton and Matlock, does not appear to be the fact.
"I now come to another circumstance which very much corroborates the above theory of the production of these springs from the steam rained from deep subterraneous fires, and not from the decomposition of pyrites. The strata of the earth in this part of Derbyshire consists of beds of limestone and of lava, (or toadstone,) which lie reciprocally one upon the other. In many parts of the country there are three beds of each, which are many yards thick. Now, if we suppose the steam rising from subterraneous fires to be owing partly to water slowly subsiding upon those fires, and to limestone gradually calcined by them, at must happen that the steam rising through the perpendicular clefts in the superincumbent rocks must be replete with calcareous gas, (fixed air,) or with some phlogisticated air. If this steam, so impregnated, be condensed in limestone strata, the fixed air in this hot steam super-saturates itself again with calcareous earth. Now, this is what precisely happens to the water of Matlock, which are replete with calcareous particles as appears by the copious deposition of tufa, or calcareous incrustations, along the channels in which they flow. For, in general, it happens that springs of water wear themselves valleys from their sources, as is done by the water at Buxton; but those springs at Matlock have produced rocks and mountains of a sponge-like calcareous stone between their fountains and the Derwent, with which all the houses at Matlock are constructed and many of the stone fences. In the beginning of October, 1780, I was present, with my friend Mr. Edgeworth, at the opening of two of the springs at Matlock, about 200 yards above their usual place of appearance. We found them both, at these new openings, about one degree of heat, or somewhat more, warmer than at the places of their usual exit. The upper one, which could be best seen, issued from some cracks or fissures in the upper surface of a bed of toadstone, and between it and blue marl which lies over it under which marl seems to have been condensed, and thence to have super-saturated itself with calcareous particles. I examined this marl by means of acids, and found it to be calcareous, except some shining bits of whitish pyrites, which had no appearance of being in a state of decomposition.
"On the contrary, the steam which produces the water of Buxton is probably condensed in the substance of the toadstone or lava, and not in a stratum of marl or limestone like the Matlock water, and hence the great difference of their contents. As one edge of these strata of limestone and lava, wherever there are springs, is always elevated higher than the other, it would be easy, by attending to the inclination of these strata, to discover on which side of the bath is situated the mountain in which the steam is condensed, which probably may not be more than a mile or two from the eruption of the springs, because, in opening the springs at Matlock at a place about 200 yards above the wells, the water (though already collected into a kind of vein) was cooled more than a degree; and this cooling must proceed much faster where the water is diffusely and thinly spread between two contiguous strata. And further, as the progress of the water must warm, in some degree, the surface of the earth beneath which it passes after its condensation, and particularly at the place of its condensation, it is not improbable but its course might be detected by observations, made in rainy mornings, or when snow has lain long on the ground, by the melting or disappearance of it at first in that part, or perhaps by the earlier vegetation of the grass on those parts of the surface.
"I cannot conclude this part of the subject without observing the analogy between the production of cold and hot springs. They are both produced from vapour. That which produces cold springs is brought to the summits of mountains by the atmosphere, and being there devaporated, slides down between the strata which composes the hill, and bursts out through some of these strata below. That which forms hot springs is condensed under the same strata of the mountains over which slides the cold water devaporated from the atmosphere. Without the existence of mountains, or elevations of ground, neither hot nor cold springs could have existed; nor indeed, without their having been shattered in their elevation, for some of the strata of the earth being deficient at the summits of mountains, gives access to the dews to slide between the first and second, or between the second and third strata, and thus form cold springs below; and the perpendicular clefts or cracks in these mountains give access to the streams raised from below for the production of warm springs.
"In the Buxton water, the fixed air is found in loose bubbles, because it does not meet with any calcareous earth, or limestone, or earth, to combine itself with. In the Matlock water the contrary occurs; it has no loose air bubbles, because the fixed air is combined with lime, and thus this water is replete with calcareous earth in subtile solution, and in this respect, I suppose, resembles the Bristol water."
The springs were first noticed about the year 1698, when the bath was paved and built by the Rev. Mr. Fern, of Matlock, and Heywood of Cromford, and put into the hands of George Wragg, who, to confirm his claim and title, took a lease of it from the several lords of the manor for 99 years, paying them a fine of £150 and the yearly rent of sixpence each. He then built a few small rooms adjoining to the bath, which furnished but poor convenience for strangers. The lease and property of Wragg were afterwards purchased by Messrs. Smith & Pennel, of Nottingham, for nearly £1,000, who erected two commodious buildings, with stables and other conveniences, and made a coach road to Matlock bridge. Shortly after this, a road was carried down the Valley to Cromford, and a passage was blasted through the rock at Scarthing nick, opening a communication with the southern parts of the county. Some years after, another spring was discovered nearly a quarter of a mile south of the other; hence the name of Old and New Bath, in this situation a bath was formed, a lodging-house built, and other conveniences provided. At a still later period a third spring was met with, about three hundred yards west of the old bath, but being of a colder temperature it was neglected till 1786, when a level was driven into the hill beyond the point where the two sorts of water mix, and a proper channel made to convey the warmer water into a bath, which is now of the same temperature as the other, and is known by the name of the Fountain Gardens Bath, which is situated on the right of the road on entering this romantic place from the north. The large swimming bath is 48 feet by 18 feet long, with a depth of 5 feet, through which there flows every five minutes, 1000 gallons of water, at a temperature of 68 Fahrenheit.
PETRIFYING WELLS.-These wells are interesting objects of curiosity, and beautiful illustrations of the mode in which the vast bed of calcareous tufa has been formed in time past. At a remote period the warm springs have spread over the base of the mountain and formed the tufa, which is a limestone deposit, but extremely porous, and, like the tufa of volcanic countries, highly favourable to vegetation. In this stratum, if it may be so termed the petrifying wells are situated. Mr. Mawe says- "The water, filtering through a mass of tufa, drops from the roof and sides, and, losing a part of its carbonic gas, precipitates earthy particles upon the substances on which it falls". It is thus they become encrusted with a calcareous deposit, which in time assumes the hardness of stone. Mr. Joseph Pearson's "Royal Well," visited by the Princess Victoria, in 1832, is situated under the road leading to the old bath. A little further on is Mr. Smedley's under his spar shops; and Mrs. Boden's, near the Post Office. These three wells are all filled with a profusion of articles, put in to be petrified, among which may be seen stags heads, cow's heads, bird's nests, wigs, baskets of flowers, &c., which have to be moved every few weeks to prevent them growing to the bottom.
CAVERNS.-The Cumberland Cavern will be viewed by the Geologist with great interest. It consists of immense openings, entirely the production of nature. The long gallery extends upwards of 100 yards in length and 18 feet high, which when illuminated with Bengal lights is seen to great advantage. At the end of this gallery, rocks of the most gigantic proportions are thrown in the wildest confusion; one mass, of many tons, is seen resting on a mere point.
The Rutland Cavern, (the old Nestor Mine,) on the Heights of Abraham, is so spacious that 10,000 men might find a place of refuge in it. It is supposed this ancient mine was originally worked by the Romans and the Saxons; indeed, it is quite evident these mighty excavations have all been effected by the agency of man. Zinc ores, cadmiferous calamine, and a beautiful species of green carbonate, are found in the mine.
Devonshire Cavern was discovered in 1824. Though not so large as the preceding, it is adorned with a profusion of minerals, and has a spacious opening of 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, with a natural wall almost perpendicular. When illuminated with Bengal lights the effect is magnificent.
The New Speedwell Mine, Upper Wood, near the Romantic rocks, is one of the most interesting mines in the place. The crystals of dog tooth and cubic fluor spars, which line the various cavities that occur in the mine, have a most brilliant and pleasing effect; for a considerable distance one side is covered with stalactites of the most exquisite whiteness. The length of the mine shewn to visitors is 431 feet.
The Tor Cave, or the London Company's Lead Works, is about half-way between the Bath and the High Tor. The sides are beautifully veined with calcareous spar, and in other places it is covered with cubic fluor spar and lead ore. The visitors have also an opportunity of seeing the lead miners at work.
The Side Mine under the High Tor exhibits some very romantic openings and crystalizations.
The Romantic Rocks are situated under the brow of a hill on a narrow road at the back of the Old Bath Hotel, which leads through the Upper Wood to Bonsall. They consist of detached fragments of rock which have been separated from the parent mass, and in connection with the surrounding foliage, they present a picturesque combination.
After having glanced at the caverns and subterraneous passages, adorned with stalactitious petrefactions and a variety of spars, the products of nature in their rudest state; we will now visit the Museums, where we are presented with the very same productions, but under so different am aspect, that it is with difficulty we can persuade ourselves that these precious gems were once the apparently worthless stones we had seen clinging to the roofs, or protruding from the fissures of the caverns. Of these Museums there are now several at the Bath, the principal of which is Walker's, (late Vallance,) in which the goods made from the various productions of Derbyshire, are open to visitors free of charge; amongst the most beautiful must be named the black marble from the quarries of Ashford and Bakewell, which is formed into most elegant tables, vases, inkstands, &c., beautifully inlaid or engraved. The Fluor Spars, of which the "Blue John" is the most recherch‚, is also manufactured into an endless variety of ornaments, from the superb vase, to the elegant brooch or locket. To the admirers of these articles we would particularly recommend a visit to Mr. Walker's museum, where the largest and most choice assortment is to be found, and what renders this spar more interesting at the present time is the fact that the beautiful variety denominated locally the Bull-Beef, or Amethystine Fluor Spar is worked out, and there is no probability of any more being procured, consequently choice specimens are becoming rare and valuable. But a visit to any of the museums or repositories will amply repay the visitant.
Holy Trinity Church, occupies a commanding situation, between the Old and New Baths, and was built at a cost of £2,250. It is a handsome gothic structure, in the form of a cross, with a tower. 129 feet high, terminated by a beautiful spire, and was opened for divine service October, 1842. The interior fittings are all of the most substantial character, and have an air of neatness and simplicity in harmony with the general style of the building. The transept, and down each side of the body are neatly pewed, to seat 300 persons, while the centre is fitted up with comfortable benches, as free sittings, for 150. A capacious font, of elegant design, carved out of gritstone, stands near the western entrance. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1,000 in the patronage of trustees, and enjoyed by the Rev. Edward Synge, M.A. The trustees are the Rev. Philip Gell, Rev. H. W. Plumtree, Rev. W. C. Wilson, Rev. Archdeacon Thos. Hill, and Robert Ramsden, Esq. A Parsonage House was erected in 1847, at a cost of £1,600, raised by subscriptions, aided by a grant from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, of £521., and from the Lichfield Church Extension Society of £200. It is a handsome stone residence, on a good elevation at the north end of the Bath, overlooking the river Derwent. National Schools, for boys and girls, were erected in 1855, at a cost of £1,200 raised by subscriptions, aided by a Parliamentary grant of £205, the National society, £50, and the Lichfield Educational Board, £10. It is a handsome Gothic structure, built of stone, and consists of a good school-room, 55 feet long, by 33 feet wide, a committee room, and residence for the master and mistress; it will accommodate 203 children, and the average attendance is 130. Mr. John and Mrs. Cope, master and mistress. There is a library of about 230 volumes in connection, with the school, which is free to all the children, but other parties pay an annual subscription of 5s. and 2s. 6d., or 1d. per volume. Glenorchy Chapel, situated at the south entrance of the Bath, with the house adjoining, was originally a private residence, but afterwards converted into a place of worship in connection with the Episcopalians. In 1784, Lady Glenorchy, in passing through the Bath, was detained by an accident, her carriage having broken down, and finding, on enquiry, the great want of a place of worship in this neighbourhood, she became the purchaser, and had it opened in connection with the Independents, and it is said it was her intention to take up her residence here, had not her decease, which took place soon after, prevented her; the property then passed into the hands of Captain Scott, at whose death it came to Thomas Wilson, Esq., late treasurer of Highbury College, who re-pewed it at his own expense. It is now the property of his son, Mr. Joshua Wilson. It is a plain brick edifice, with a large school-room attached, for the Sunday scholars. The Chapel, which will seat about 300 hearers, has recently been thoroughly renovated and painted, and new windows put in, which has greatly improved its general appearance. The Rev. Wm. Tiler, is the pastor. The Hotels and Lodgings Houses are numerous and respectable, and many of them are fitted up in a style of elegance and splendour suitable to the rank and fashion of those who annually visit this "Switzerland in miniature." The number of visitors have greatly increased within the last few years, and it is supposed not less than 400 are frequently entertained at one time. Ivatt and Jordan's, or New Bath Hotel, is situated on a plot of level ground, considerably elevated above the carriage road, with a verdant lawn in front, forming an excellent promenade, and commanding the finest views of the picturesque scenery for which Matlock bath stands unrivalled. It is a spacious building, replete with every comfort, has recently undergone great alterations, been re-furnished, and other improvements and additions carried out, amongst which may be named the appropriation of the spacious room in the south wing as a coffee room for ladies and gentlemen, in addition to the Family hotel. There is also a large tepid swimming bath on the premises. The Gardens, which are tastefully laid out, and adorned with shrubs and flowers, contain a magnificent Lime tree, which we cannot better describe than in the following lines, which were left on a table in one of the rooms of the hotel, by a visitor
Would you ask me the charms of the New Bath Hotel;
There's a Linden tree grows in the garden so well,
That its branches o'ershadow a full rood of ground,
As you may prove clearly, if you'll only go round;
And its limbs are supported by forty-nine stakes,
Like the Banyan that grows by Hindoostan's lakes.
And the fountain moreover-aye, honour the Fountain,
That clear as the crystal bursts forth from the mountain;
All sparkling, and gushing, and limpid it flows,
And the Bath receives it as onward it goes.
'Tis a chosen retreat sure, the New Bath Inn,
There's beauty without, and there's comfort within.
Walker's Boarding House, and Family Hotel, established 1798, is pleasantly situated on a gentle slope at the northern extremity of the Terrace walk, midway between the Old and the New Bath Hotels, near the church, and from its position, commands most beautiful views in every direction, equal to any other house in the neighbourhood. It has been recently enlarged and re-furnished in a very superior manner, and affords every accommodation and comfort, with the most ready and obliging attention to visitors.
The Old Bath Royal Hotel, occupied by Mr. Greaves, is a commodious structure, fitted up in a superior style, and pleasantly situate at the west end of the immense bed of tufa. Its fine terrace commands a view of unequalled beauty and grandeur; hence it is often sketched as combining the romantic and beautiful features of the dale in one glance.
Hodgkinson's Hotel, Museum Parade, originally formed part of the Great hotel. It has the advantage of one of the best cellars in the kingdom, being perfectly cool during the hottest season, and generally of one uniform temperature. The interior arrangements are good, and the accommodations comfortable, at a moderate charge. Mrs. Rebecca Allen, proprietoress.
Devonshire Hotel, Bath Parade, is a convenient and well arranged establishment, where visitors will find every comfort, combined with cleanliness and the most reasonable charges, and the wines and spirits will be found to be of the very best description. Mr. Geo. Ellis, proprietor.
Rutland Arms Inn and Family Hotel, in the occupation of Mr. Abraham Hendry, is situated at the south end of the Bath, with excellent tea gardens attached, and where visitors will have the advantage of some of the best fishing in the district.
Temple Hotel and Lodging House, under the management of Mrs. Evans, is beautifully situated on an elevation that, with a few exceptions, overlooks every other dwelling, consequently it commands some extensive views of the picturesque line of rocks with the placid Derwent flowing at their base.
Matlock Literary Institute, Reading and News Room, Museum Parade, is open daily, from 9 to 6 o'clock; it is well supplied with the usual periodicals, and the London and Provincial newspapers, and has a small library of about 200 volumes. There are 40 members, who pay an annual subscription of 8s. Mr. Wm. R. Lomas, Hon. Sec.
Gas Works, at the north end of the Bath, were erected in 1854, at a cost of £2,000, by a company of £5 shareholders, since which, the capital has been increased by the addition of new shares to the amount of £1,000. The works consist of a gasometer capable of holding 10,000 cubic feet of gas. There are five retorts. The average annual consumption is about 1,000, 000 cubic feet, which is distributed at 7s. 6d. per 1,000 feet.
The Matlock branch of the Midland Railway runs within a short distance of the Bath, where there is a Station, from whence there are trains between Ambergate and Rowsley five times each way daily, except Sundays, when there is but one each way. An omnibus and cabs attend the arrival and departure of every train. Mr. Robt. Skirrow, station master.
Matlock Bank contains many scattered houses, forming the north extremity of the parish. Coums and Bough Wood, the south-east extremity. The Green forms a part of the village. Here is Matlock Green Academy, which stands in a healthy situation, and is noted for its liberal treatment, the discipline being mild, but firm, and the intellectual, physical, and moral improvement of the pupils gives general satisfaction. It is conducted by Mr. Wm. C. Clark. Lumsdale, 1½ miles east from Matlock. Here are three bleach works and a cotton spinning factory, all of which are in Tansley.
Cromford Bridge forms the south extremity of the parish.
RIBER, a hamlet situated on elevated ground 1 mile S.E. from Matlock, consists of a few scattered houses, it was for many generations the property and residence of the Woolley family. On Riber Hill was formerly some large masses of grit stone, supposed by some to have been the remains of a Druidical altar. It consisted of four rude masses of stone, one of which, computed to weigh several tons, was placed on the others, whereon formerly stood a stone pillar. These were destroyed a few years ago, for fencing, by a reckless individual, though abundance of stone lies scattered in all directions. A stone chair was preserved from the wreck by Mr. George Wall, which is now placed in his farm yard. An ancient house, the residence of Mrs. Cotterill, erected in 1663, by the Walker family, contains some antique specimens of carved work. A bedstead of exquisite workmanship is greatly admired. The Hall, an ancient mansion in a commanding situation, formerly the seat of the Woolleys, is now divided into two farm houses. Anthony Woolley, the last of the Riber branch, died a bachelor in 1668. His sisters and co-heirs sold the Riber Hall estate to Thomas Statham, from whom it passed, in like manner, to the Rev. John Chappell. In 1724, it was divided between the co-heirs of Chappell. One moiety passed by sale to Wall, to whose family it still belongs. The other moiety has passed through several hands, by sale, to its present possessor, Mr. George Allen. Another branch of the Woolley family resided at Allen Hill, ½ mile N.E. from Matlock. Mr. Adam Woolley, of this branch, who died in 1657, lived 67 years in marriage with his wife, Grace, who survived him 12 years, she died in 1669. By the tradition of the family, he died in his 100th year, and she at the age of 110. Adam Woolley, Esq., a celebrated antiquary, who wrote a MS. history of Derbyshire, about the year 1712, was of this branch. He bequeathed his manuscript to the British Museum. A large house, his residence, is now the seat of Charles Clarke, Esq.
Starkholmes is a district of scattered houses, west of Riber.
Willersley Castle, 2 miles S. from Matlock, the elegant seat of Peter Arkwright, Esq., is a very handsome Gothic structure, built of white freestone. It stands on a bold eminence with verdant lawns sloping to the margin of the Derwent, which here takes a fine sweep to the east, and adds greatly to the picturesque features of the scene. Immediately opposite the castle rises an immense range of perpendicular rocks, whose grey crags jut over the sylvan walk which goes from Cromford to the chapel. The summit of these rocks are fringed with trees and underwood; and the view from the lawn is one of great diversity, and beautifully romantic. The grounds at the back of the castle rise to a considerable height, and are richly clothed with wood. The delightful walks that have been cut in the woods which overhang the Derwent command views of unparalleled beauty and picturesque grandeur. The Baths, the High Tor, and the heights of Abraham are seen, with the gentle Derwent gliding at an immeasurable depth almost immediately under the feet of the spectator, sparkling through the thickly interwoven foliage, and giving a charm of indescribable beauty to the fairy scene. The gardens and tasteful pleasure grounds are open to visitors two days every week, viz., Monday and Thursday. In the gardens is an immense gooseberry tree, trained to a wall, with branches 30 feet in length. The various branches of this remarkable tree measure 365 feet. The interior of the mansion is furnished with taste and elegance, and contains sense admirable paintings by Wright of Derby, among which is a fine portrait of Sir Richard Arkwright, and a view of Ulswater lake, purchased by Mr. Arkwright for 300 guineas. This is considered equal to any effort of landscape painting that this country has ever produced. Sir Richard Arkwright purchased this estate, in 1782, of Thomas Hallet Hodges, Esq. In 1788, he erected a handsome mansion, which was reduced to a shell by an accidental fire in 1791, before it had been inhabited. On leaving the grounds the company are passed through a door, descending by Hag Tor and Wild Cat Tor, to the Lover's Walk, one of the most attractive portions of the Dale; but those would enjoy the richness of its scenery, in all its fullness must proceed to the Ferry, where the boats kept by Mr. Walker, have for a length of time been a source of great pleasure and amusement to the visitors of Matlock Bath; take one of these boats, row upwards, to beyond the Museum Gardens, then rest on your oars - abandon yourself to the current of the stream, and enjoy the scenery of the river as you glide along. From the Ferry the view is one of more than ordinary magnificence; the trees on the margin of the river are here vividly reflected - a mimic forest in the bosom of the stream; the foliage is peculiarly rich; the rocks rise boldly over the tops of the trees. Hag Tor and Wild Cat Tor, with their crested summits come broadly on the eye, and the jutting crags, every where adorned with pendant branches give variety to the scene, and blend the picturesque with the sylvan character of the banks of the Derwent. Within the last few years an excellent gravel walk has been formed on the top of the rocks, from different points of which, some of the most splendid scenery (even in this beautiful locality) is seen. The public are greatly indebted to Peter Arkwright, Esq., for the liberality and judgment evinced by him, in causing to be removed any trees or other obstructions which tended to mar the effect of the enchanting scenery of this highly favoured locality, and also to Mr. Walker, for the good condition in which the grounds are kept, and the general accommodation to visitors of the walks or river.
CHARITIES.-George Spateman, in 1647, left £80 to the use of a school in Matlock, and £20 for the benefit of the poor of the parish. These two legacies were laid out in the purchase of a house and lands in the parish of Matlock, in 1750. This property was exchanged, in 1812, for a messuage and lands at Matlock.
Anthony Woolley, in 1668, gave £5 per annum towards the maintenance of the free school at Matlock, and directed that a piece of land should be set apart by his executers for that purpose. Whereupon two pieces of copyhold land were conveyed on trust to Mr. John Woolley and Mr. John Sowter. The rents of the land derived from these two gifts amount to £36 per annum, of which £30 is paid to the schoolmaster, £2 is used as a fund for incidental expenses, and £4 is distributed to the poor. The school is open to the sons of all the inhabitants of Matlock, 40 of whom are appointed by the trustees, and taught free, except a small charge for providing books and fire.
William Walker, in 1631, left a rent charge of 10s. yearly to the poor, out of his estate, called Hillock Cliff, in Matlock.
Thomas Johns, in 1667, gave £2 per annum, and four Bibles of the value of £1, to be paid out of the rents of the lands called Janckin Flat, Causeway-lane Meadow, and Dick Lands, situate in Matlock.
Daniel Clark, in 1726, gave 10s. yearly for ever, to be paid out of his estate in this parish.
Joshua Bradley, in 1738, left a rent charge of 10s. a year out of land lying in Matlock Bank.
Thomas Garrett, Esq., of Middlesex, in 1791, left £100 to be invested in the Government funds, the dividends thereof to be given to 20 poor housekeepers not receiving parish relief. This bequest is now standing in the names of the Rev. Philip Gell, Mr. Adam Woolley, and Mr. John Nuttall-£100 3½ per cents., the dividends of which, together with the above mentioned sums, the whole amounting to £11 16s. per annum, are distributed to the poor on Candlemas-day, in sums usually varying from 1s. to 2s. 6d.
The sum of £5 10s. per annum received from the bequest of the Rev. Francis Gisborne, is expended in warm clothing, and given to the poor. (See Bradley).