Matlock Bath – A perfectly romantic place
by Christopher Charlton and Doreen Buxton
Here is the story of Matlock Bath from its origin in the late seventeenth century to the recent past. At first, a remote rural spa, a century later, though still no more than a small village, its awesome scenery and mineral springs had become so highly regarded by fashionable visitors that it was spoken of alongside Bath, Buxton and Tunbridge Wells.
These years also saw the creation of Masson Mill, the most elegant of Sir Richard Arkwright’s many cotton mills; the book records both its early development and its renaissance at the end of the nineteenth century in the hands of J.E. Lawton, the man who was also instrumental in the formation of the English Sewing Cotton Company, the combine which ensured the survival of the mills in Matlock Bath, Belper and Milford into the 1990s.
Matlock Bath’s success as a pedigree spa was short-lived. Inexorable decline was brought to an end by the arrival of the railway in the 1840s. The new visitors it brought, the day trippers, enabled the resort to reinvent itself, now as a popular day out destination, the role it continues to perform today. Much of Matlock Bath’s heritage was lost in the A6 road widening of the 1960s, much more remains. The elegant parades in harmony with the course of the river and its gorge; the villas which adorn the wooded slopes; the Lover’s Walks and the Heights of Abraham, this rich inheritance is all a reminder of the Bath’s celebrated past when briefly it walked upon the national stage.
The book is generously illustrated, reproducing historic prints and paintings, photographs and advertisements selected from a range of local and national collections.
Available to purchase:
Phone 07784 875 333
Paperback, 256 pages
£18 (plus £4 P&P)