High Peak News
22 Oct 1898
The Munificent Gift by Miss Harrison
Dedication Service and Opening of the Almshouses
To futher impress upon the minds the hisorical
nature of Thursday, October 20th, preparatory to
the general rejoicings associated with the Cable
Tramway gift, a ceremonial transpired at Matlock
Green. This was in connection with the magnificent
Miss Harrison, of Dean Hill house, has made
to the poor of the Matlock parish, viz.: the Almshouses.
The cermonial took the happy form of a
short dedication service, which may be regarded as
the final act of bestowing the gift from Miss Harrison
on the poor for ever. The Almshouses are now
fully occupied, and are considered by experts to be
the finest and best equipped in the whole County
of Derby, if not of England. Miss Harrison has
spared no expense in making the buildings of the
most substantial character possible, and there is
little to fear in the way of depreciation for years,
perhaps generations, to come. The Almshouses,
moreover, are in an admirable position, facing the
Matlock Parish Church and the Pig Tor Rocks, and
are fronted to the main Matlock Bridge roadway.
A happy provision for the inmates is the lawn and
gardens, laid out with great care at the front of
each. Shrubberies, trees, garden seats, and flowers-
all are provided, the one desire of the donor being
to help to make the downhill of the life of the
occupants as comfortable and peaceful as it is possible
in this world.
Previous to the service the governors, or trustees,
of the gift were entertained to luncheon at Dean
Hill House, by Miss Harrison. The new governing
Mr Job Smith (who has carried out
the project from its initiation), the
Rev J W Kewley,
Rev A Lowe, Mr F C Arkwright, JP,
Mr R Wildgoose, JP,
Mr W Kirkland, and Miss Harrison.
The dedication service was appropriately conducted
by the Bishop of Derby (Dr Were), at two o'clock
in the presence of the governors and a number of
friends. After the service Miss Harrison presented
the trust deed through the Bishop to the governors.
The Almshouses, together with the endowments,
have cost the donor close upon £8,000.
Mr James Potter,
the solicitor to the donor, presented the
deed, which he had executed to Miss Harrison,
previous to its transference to the Bishop.
At the dedication and opening ceremonials there
were present The Bishop of Derby, Miss Harrison
(the donor), Mr R Wildgoose, JP, Mr Job Smith,
Mr W Kirkland, and Rev J W Kewley (the
trustees of the new Almshouses gift), together with
Mrs Prince (The Study),
Rev M Shaw (Matlock Dale),
Dr W Moxon,
Mr E H Garton,
Mr A E Doar,
Rev Chas.Baker (Matlock Bath),
Dr R B Holland,
Mrs R Wildgoose,
Mr J Sladen,
Rev E Adams, and many others.
A procession was formed from Dean Hill House,
headed by the surpliced choir of the Parish Church,
the clergy in the rear, including the Bishop, the
Revs J W Kewley and E Adams.
On assembling in front of the Almshouses, hymn
No 380 was sung.
[there follows details of the prayers, blessings and sermon]
Mr Job Smith here handed the trust deeds to
Miss Harrison, who presented them to the Bishop,
saying "I have great pleasure, Your Lordship, in
handing these deeds to you in behalf of the trustees".
The Bishop replied "I accept them, Miss Harrison,
with very great pleasure, and now hand them
to the Rev J W Kewley, one of the trustees; and
may God's blessing rest upon you all. Amen."
[Details of the benediction follow]
This concluded the ceremonials.
"To the Glory of God - these Almshouses
are built, and as a memorial of her beloved
brother, Wm Harrison MD, of Dean Hill
House, Matlock, by his sister, Margaret
Harrison, to provide rest for the aged poor."
The above dedicatory inscription occupies a
prominent position over the central porch of the
block of buildings.