Updated 21 Sep 2006

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 474


Illustrated London News, 31 Jul 1852

Matlock Bath 1852

From the Illustrated London News, 31 Jul 1852, page 67:
Among the "cool retreats" of England - which are as much resorted to for their beauty of situation as for their health-giving springs - Matlock has long been a favourite with tourists and invalids. It lies on the banks of the River Derwent, eighteen miles from Derby. Matlock-dale, in which the village stands, extends for two miles, and is bounded on each side by steep rocks, whose naked summits rise to the height of about 300 feet. The river banks are fringed with trees, except where the rocks rise almost perpendicularly from the water: one of the most striking of these is the High Tor, 396 feet high: opposite is Masson, still loftier, but less picturesque.

Matlock-bath is nearly a mile and a half from the village, nearer to Derby: and its mineral springs and beautiful scenery have long attracted hosts of visitors, the buildings for whose accommodation are grouped up the mountain side. The Matlock wayers were first brought into notice about 1698, when a bath was paved and built: other springs were subsequently discovered, and new baths formed. The waters havea temperature of 66 deg or 68 Fahrenheit. They are considered to resemblethe Bristol waters, and are recommended in bilious disorders, in phthisis, and other complaints.

Matlock is also the centre of other attractions, in its caverns and mines, petrifying wells and rocks. The walks in the neighbourhood are very delightful: the prospects from the rocky points are magnificent, in their picturesque mining villages, ancient churches, masses and fragments of riven rock: altogetherpresenting a rare assemblage of objects of interest for the tourist, the geologist and mineralogist. This beautiful district has been brought within direct access by railway.

Mr Rhodes, in his "Peak Scenery", thus glanced at its romantic Beauties:- "I stood", he says, "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, in an amphitheatre of hills, one of the finest landscapes that nature anywhere presents was spread before me. The habitations of men 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."

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