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Matlock Bath and the Heights of Abraham, 1890s
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The Clarence, the building in the middle of the photo, was Matlock Bath's Hydropathic Establishment
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1870s stereoview

Dale Road 1895

The Popular Album of Matlock
See Upton's advert.

County and Station Hotel, 1900-1939

County & Station, Holmefield House

Dale Road, Holme Road & the Prospect Tower

Dale Road & The Heights of Abraham, about 1948

View from Starkholmes 1908

Holme Road area,

Illuminations & Venetian Fête in the 1950's

This is the view from the Station Approach looking towards the opposite hillside of Masson and the Heights of Abraham. The horse, cab and its driver on the far side of the bridge were waiting for passengers. The large sign board on the left hand side of the bridge advertises the Pavilion Gardens. There seem to be small posters stuck on the board so it probably acted as a notice board for events at the Royal Pavilion (later the Palais Royal).

The stone built hotel facing the cameraman is The County and Station, originally just the Station Hotel, and was built in the 1860s[1]. The first licensee of the Station Hotel was Sidney Frederick Wheatcroft[2] who first applied to the Wirksworth Brewster Sessions for a spirits licence in 1870. This was turned down. The Bench said at the time that, because of a recent Act of Parliament, the power had been taken out of their hands for two years[3]. He successfully re-applied in 1874, when the Wirksworth Brewster Sessions were informed that he had occupied his house for seven years, and the hotel was exceedingly well conducted. It had plenty of visitors, and there was not always sufficient accommodation for them. The hotel itself was spacious, with stabling and carriage accommodation[4].

William Edwards took over the tenancy in March 1890 and three of the Edwards' children were born at the hotel[5]. In the beginning there was some disagreement over goods that Mr. Wheatcroft, who had transferred to Hodgkinsons, had left behind. Mr. Edwards did not want the items and he was taken to court by Wheatcroft[6]. William Edwards had previously worked as a gardener (shown in the 1881 census as such in Hoole, Chester) and seems to have little or no experience as a publican. Things did not go smoothly for him at the hotel, or at least not initially. In 1891 he was summoned for an infringement to local byelaws for keeping pigs near to dwelling houses. His pig house was within 70 feet of dwellings but the byelaw stated they should be 100 feet away from dwellings. He was also in trouble for depositing manure near a public highway and was fined 10s and costs in each case[7]. Only a few days later he was prosecuted under the Army Act. He was charged with neglecting to provide proper accommodation for a billeting party of the 14th Hussars. When the premises were inspected by the commanding officer the stables were said to be filthy as pigs had been kept in them, though other witnesses denied that. Nevertheless, the case was proved and Edwards was fined yet again[8].

Arthur W. Upton applied for and was granted the transfer of the licence in 1895[9]. He had moved from the George Vaults on North Parade where he had been since 1891. There is a large sign over the portico announcing that the hotel was "UPTONS". The hotel's new name is on the large oval sign on the corner of the building. Mr. Upton described the hotel as being "in the centre of the well-known preserve of the Matlock & Cromford Angling Association", for which he sold tickets. In June the same year plans were approved by Matlock Bath's Local Board for alterations to the hotel[10]. During his time at the County and Station he had married his former neighbour's daughter; he and Amy Beatrice Cooper were married at Holy Trinity in 1896. In April 1898 Joseph Hodgkinson, the auctioneer, received instructions from Mr. Upton to sell both his household furniture and "A High-class modern and full sized billiard table, equal to new, by George Wright and Co., London, filled with "Roberts" latest patent low cushions" as Mr. Upton was leaving the hotel11]. His father, a hotel keeper in Melbourne, had died at the end of 1895 and Arthur Upton seems to have returned there to help his mother out. In May 1898 The Station and County [sic] Hotel's licence was transferred from Arthur William Upton to Francis Hoyland[12].
See: County and Station Hotel, Dale Road, 1900-1939.

When he was in Matlock Bath Mr. Upton sold
"Old Tor" (Special Liqueur) Highland Whisky.
This is a detail of one of the bottles. See his advert in The Popular Album of Matlock.

Enlargement of the hotel, with the former stables and the roof of my father's workshop behind

On the top image there is a red brick property next door to the County and Station, although it doesn't look red here. Behind the lettering on the same image, where it says "Heights of Abraham, Matlock" is Midland Terrace, a block of three dwellings. All these properties were built slightly after the hotel.

Holme Road climbs up the hill to the left of the hotel. Although it is mostly hidden behind the trees, the shop at the bottom of Holme Road, but on the opposite side, was William Bryan's drapery. Then there is a small shop that was a butchers in the 1950s and a leather shop in the 1960s. Above the left hand gable of The County and Station is a two storey building with three windows on the first floor; these were originally stables and carriages were stored there. The square yard in the front was cobbled and gently sloping with a drain in the middle - which, presumably, was where they washed the carriages. In the 1950s the upper floor of this building was a men's club where they played billiards. The entrance was up a small track way beside a general store (Dolly's in the 1950s and 60s) that also led to the workshop my father rented for his business use and where the set pieces for the Venetian Fêtes of the 1950s were created. You can just see the workshop's roof.

This card dates from the end on the 19th century as properties on Holme Road, which appear in the 1901 census, had not been built. There is a good view of the Clarence, Matlock Bath's Hydropathic Establishment, which was later obscured by Rockvale Villas from this position. Rockvale Villas were built on land where Mr. Leggoe's skating rink was; the long roof of that building can be seen here - it is just visible above the stable block in the top image. The terrace of houses was not built until about 1895 and was first mentioned in a directory in 1899.

"Heights of Abram, Matlock". The "National" Series (Printed in Britain) Inland Postage ½d. Foreign Postage 1d.
The image was taken by W. W. Winter, photo-artist of Derby. A black and white version attributed to Winters, of slightly different proportions, was published in Ward Lock & Co's "Guide to Matlock, Dovedale, Etc.", Illustrated Guide Books of England and Wales (Guide Series 1903-4).
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Photo of bottle © D C.
Information written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] The group of buildings on Dale Road, to the right of Holme Road, are not shown on the 1848 Tithe Map, but can be seen on the 1880 OS map.

[2] Sidney Wheatcroft was there in the 1871 census | the 1881 census | Kelly's Directory, 1876.

[3] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 1 Sep 1871. Wirksworth Brewster Sessions of 22 Aug 1871 when Mr. Kingdom, of Wirksworth, applied for a licence on his behalf. Wheatcroft was described as an eating house and refreshment room keeper. Two years earlier he had applied for a licence for the Palatine Hotel and refreshment rooms ("Derbyshire Times", 4 Sept 1869) that was also refused.

[4] "Derbyshire Times", 29 Aug 1874. Wirksworth Brewster Sessions of 25 Aug 1874 when Mr. Kingdom, of Wirksworth, once more applied for a licence on Wheatcroft's behalf. Wheatcroft also submitted that his father, Edward, was the owner or lessee and he had occupied the premises for that previous four years as an Inn, under the sign of the Station Hotel.

[5] Mr Edwards was there at the time of the 1891 census and is listed in Kelly's Directory, 1891. See his children's names in the list of Strays, Surnames E.

[6] "Derbyshire Times", 19 July 1890.

[7] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 7 August 1891 and "Derby Mercury", 12 Aug 1891. He had appeared in court on 5 Aug 1891.

[8] "Derby Daily Telegraph", 20 August 1891. Prosecution under the Army Act.

[9] "Derby Mercury", 29 May 1895. Mr. Upton's name appears in the 1891 census | Kelly's Directory 1891 | Kelly's 1895 Directory. He advertised in The Popular Album of Matlock. He was in Melbourne in 1901 and his wife and daughter were living at Parade House in 1901.

[10] "Derbyshire Times", 15 June 1895

[11] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 23 April 1898.

[12] "Derbyshire Times", 21 May 1898. Transfer of Licenses.