Updated 30 Dec 2005

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 419


Posted 1907

Derbyshire Record Office

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: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 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 links: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901. 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 6)

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.

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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.
From: mike'bagworth#ntlworld'com
To: DERBYSGEN-L@rootsweb.com,
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 Henry Ward.

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 that time.

I have other information on this line which I obtained for John which I would be able to let you have.


Mike Bagworth

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