Bank House, Matlock
Bank House has a long and varied history. It was originally built as
a Hydro, and was run by Henry Ward, see the following Census links:
At some stage Bank House changed its name to Wyvern House Hydro.
In 1924 the building became a mixed grammar school named after
Ernest Henry Bailey who ran a Flour Mill in Lumsdale, see the Census
The school closed in 1982, after merging with another school and
moving to Chesterfield Road.
Most local children today eventually attend the new comprehensive school,
but there are fond memories of Wyvern House Hydro, which became the Ernest
Bailey grammar school. Ernest Bailey, benefactor, had many mills. One day he
moved out of his home and 34 boys moved in. Over almost 40 years, 450 of
'Bailey's Boys', waifs and strays, were fed, clothed and educated, many
eventually finding work in his mills. The house carried on as a children's
home; nursery nurses came to train there and were a familiar sight with
their huge prams and tiny charges.
(From 'The Derbyshire Village Book' published by the Derbyshire
Federation of Women's Institutes & Countryside Books, 1991. ISBN 1 85306 133
Shortly after the building changed its purpose yet again, and became the
well-known Derbyshire County Record Office (see the colour photo).
The old gymnasium has been converted for storage and now holds several
miles of shelved records. The croquet lawn in the 1907 photo has been
turned into a car park for the public, access was gained by knocking
a gateway through the stone wall. The low extension building on the
right is now where the public studies old documents, with microfilm
readers, many filing cabinets holding the film, and map tables,
while members of the staff keep a watching brief.
Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
Have any more information about this photo?
Please e-mail the author on:
Mike Bagworth of Mikleover writes:
Posted on behalf of Dominicward9#aol'com (whose messages to the List
are being rejected for reasons best known only to AOL!)
1st. posting, I am looking to find the burial date and place of my
grandfather Henry WARD, former proprieter of Bank House and Church
View (later Ernest Bailey GS and now DCC archive office). Born
Manchester (salford)1829 married Hannah COWLISHAW in 1852 Re-married
Mary BILLINGE 1902 and had only child also Henry in 1905. According
to Kelly's directory was due to retire as District councillor in
1911. His mother was daughter of John HOWE celebrated poet. She is
last known in Lea in 1851.
Subject: Re: [DBY] Henry Ward/ Martha Warde MATLOCK
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 20:20:52 +0100
Evening Vic & Dominic
This is an echo from twenty years ago when I was working at the
County Offices, Matlock, and able to spend my dinner times in
the record office doing family history research. I was corresponding
with a John Ward in Australia and doing some research for him. One
of my forebears is Ward but in the little City area of Derby. Amongst
others one of John's quests was finding the death/burial of the same
I was unable to locate the death/burial but managed to find out a
few other bits of information. The following notes are from a letter
I wrote to John Ward dated 1 August 1986:
A Senior Archivist had a look at the deeds of the Bank House Hydro
for me and gave me the information that Henry Ward mortgaged Bank Hydro
in 1898 to one of the Brooke-Taylor family who sold the property in
1922 when the mortgage payments fell behind.
Henry Ward was advertising his Hydro in the Matlock Guardian &
Visitor up until 26 October 1912. There was also a list of visitors
in the same edition. The previous week there was a report of a social
evening mentioning not only most of the guests but also Mrs Ward.
After the 26 October the adverts cease and also the reports.
On 11 April 1914 there appears an advert for the Wyvern Hydro which
states that the Bank House and Church View Hydros have been taken over
and incorporated into the Wyvern Hydro.
So it appears that Henry mortgaged the original building to finance
the extension he carried out, his wife dying in 1901, he subsequently
remarried and continued running the hydro in his own name until 1912
when it was taken over by Joseph Hale of Leicester with Henry working
there, with the building being sold in 1922 when the mortgage had not
been kept up.
End of notes from letter.
Hannah Ward nee Cowlishaw was buried at Matlock 26 December 1901. The
gravestone does not have any other death recorded on it, but this
does not mean there isn't one. The burial registers for Matlock St Giles
after 1875 were not deposited in 1986 so unable to check for Henry at
I have other information on this line which I obtained for John
which I would be able to let you have.