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Cumming's Old Bath Hotel, Matlock Bath
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Old Bath 1776



Matlock Bath from the Temple House, 1810

The Royal Hotel

A card advertising Cumming's Old Bath Hotel, dating from the 1840's. The hotel was on what is today Temple Road. Interestingly, the obelisk at the junction with the main road seems to indicate that it was at the entrance to the hotel's drive. This was where the likes of Lord Byron and Walter Scott stayed when they visited Matlock Bath to take the waters. The card was found in old family documents. David Bates, whose card this is, says that 'the note on the card must have been written by my father's father or one of my grandfather's first cousins'. We think the card dates from between 1840, when the station opened at Ambergate, and 1842, when Mrs. Cumming died. The conveyances on offer include a Phæton, a light four wheeled open carriage that is usually drawn by a pair of horses.

Richard Ward described the Old Bath in his "Guide"[1] of 1814:
"A few hundred yards further northwards [from the New Bath and Mr. Walker's lodging house] the other Principal Hotel, called the Old Bath, kept by Mrs. Cumming; this house is of great extent, affording convenient accommodation to about one hundred persons. Besides a copious spring and a hot as well as a cold bath, here is a large assembly room; and during the season, which begins in spring and continues till November, assemblies are held in it, chiefly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A billiard table is kept both here and at the New Bath. There is likewise in the front of this house a level green and promenade of considerable extent, commanding a very interesting view, not only of the opposite rocks, the great ornament of Matlock [Bath], but also of a bold and high hill which advancing from the western mountainous country towards the river, seems here to shut out the valley".

The Old Bath, later the Royal Old Bath Hotel, was eventually demolished and replaced by the Royal Hotel.

There is more on site information about the Cumming family:
Matlock Biographies: see Cumming
Matlock & Matlock Bath Public Notices & Announcements, 1820 and 1860
Gem of the Peak (1840)
Newspaper Cuttings
See J N Cumming's name in Nineteenth Century - Game Duty Lists
Brewer's Derby Directory, 1823
Taverns & Pubs, 3 early trade directory extracts
Pigot's Directory, 1842
Pre 1858 Wills & Administrations in various UK archives, Surnames C
Matlock & Matlock Bath Names in the London Gazette See William John Cumming in 1843 and Alice Ann Cumming in 1853. The Old Bath was a venue for property sales in the 18th century and a place where officials met in the 19th century. It was sold in 1857 and in 1869 the Hydropathic Company was wound up.

There is more about the opening up of the railway
Matlock Bath Station and High Tor

Lists Through the Centuries: Arrivals at Matlock Bath, 1820-1850. European Royal families and nobility, British politicians, academics, clergy, members of the British aristocracy and upper and middle classes of society. Some of them would have stayed at the Old Bath.

Image and information supplied by and Copyright © of David L Bates from his personal collection.
If you are interested in this family, please contact the web mistress, who will pass on the query.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] Ward, Reverend Richard (1814) "The Matlock, Buxton and Castleton Guide, containing concise accounts of these and other remarkable places ... in the ... County of Derby", Derby.