The water tower and tank that served the Cromford & High Peak Railway and is located opposite the workshop at the bottom of the incline. The original assembly in this location appears to date from between 1878 and 1898, although the small size of the cast iron plates suggests the tank assembly may date from the first introduction of steam in the 1830’s. Water was one of the primary goods carried in water carriages on the Cromford & High Peak Railway, needed for both stationary and locomotive steam engines working the railway from 1833. A water supply was also needed for domestic and industrial consumers along the upper reaches of the porous lime stone uplands.
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The Fishpond stands near to the Grand Pavillion, and some locals believe it to be smaller than it once was – however, this more likely to be a because the surrounding trees have grown larger around its edge.
Architect John Nuttall led the £11,000 construction of the Grand Pavilion in 1910 on the site of a former stables and blacksmiths yard next to the river Derwent. Later that year the Matlock and District Operatic Society performed there as well and the group are still performing today under the name of Matlock Musical Theatre.
Publisher: Valentine “Colourtone” Series – Looking South
Publisher: Raphael Tack & Sons “Chromatic” – Looking North
There are several postcards and photographs in Buxton Museum that depict views of Matlock Bath as either having a “Switzerland View” or being a “Little Switzerland”. The art critic John Ruskin and poet Lord Byron both visited the area in the day and it is the latter that is credited with the comparison. This first view shows Matlock Bath’s High Tor. On the left, below the area of blank space by the road is now the Artist Corner car park. This side of Matlock Bath can be explored as part of the High Tor Recreation Ground. The second view shows High Tor from the Station Bridge looking North towards Matlock itself.
Matlock Bath is not alone in picking up an exotic moniker. Nicknaming places became fashionable in an era when foreign travel was a limited to a small number of wealthy individuals. Despite having neither mountains or lakes, it is the rocky outcrops that surround the area that lend the feel of winding alpine roads.
Publisher: “The Adam Bede Series”, George Marsden & Sons, Wirksworth.
Babington House has a very long and distinguished history, and has served many different roles since its construction in around 1630. It sits within what resembles a small quarry, and the stone from this area was used to build the house. It began its life as house for the Babington Family.
From 1724-1829 the property became a Workhouse, and from 1867-1927 a Cottage Hospital, it later became the Maternity Hospital. The house returned to private use when the hospital relocated to Waltham House.
Locals have indicated that this postcard could well date from the time of the Great War, where recovering soldiers were returning from action to rest and recuperate. They have indicated that the figure in the foreground is a certain Nurse Penny.
Lucy Gannon the writer who wrote the Peak Practice series for TV once lived at the house in the 1990s, and her friends Dawn French and Lenny Henry were often seen visiting, along with Simon Shepard who rented a house up the top of Greenhill.
Publisher: J. Watterson, Photo, A Barker & Sons, Printers, Wirkworth
The novelist, George Eliot (1819-1890) used the town of Wirksworth as her inspiration for her book “Adam Bede”. Indeed there are number of associations with the town throughout her literary career, for instance the Haarlem Mill opposite has been suggested as the location for her novel “The Mill on the Floss”. The actual inspiration of “Adam Bede’s cottage” remains disputed with some scholars claiming the novels location is in fact the village of Ellastone on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border where Eliot’s father lived.
This cottage is where Samuel Evans and his wife Elizabeth came to live around 1814. George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans, and was their niece, came to stay with her aunt and uncle in 1826. Wirksworth made such an impression on Eliot that she wrote her novel renaming the town “Snowfield”. The origin of the plot came from Eliot’s aunt, who had visited a young girl in Nottingham Prison. This girl, Hetty Sorrel had been condemned to death for the murder of her child. Aunt Elizabeth stayed with Hetty the night before the execution and they prayed together.
The Old Hall Hotel is the oldest known accommodation in Buxton. There are no records of any inns in Buxton until the “Auld Hall” in 1573. The Earl of Shrewsbury bought the land from the Coterell family in 1569 on which he built the Auld Hall. [Read more…] about Old Hall Hotel