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Stereoview of Matlock Bath and Holme Road, 1870s
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Stereoview of early building development on Holme Road
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Matlock Bath and the Heights of Abraham, 1890s

Clarence Hydro

Holme Road area, 1910-1920

County & Station Hotel, 1900-1939

Dale Road & The Heights of Abraham, about 1948

This stereoview shows us the earliest development on either side of the relatively newly built Holme Road, on the hillside below the Heights of Abraham. All these buildings appear on the 1880 Ordnance Survey map but they had been built some years before then.

The Clarence, its bath houses and Hope Terrace (behind the bath houses) form a group of new builds that are centre right on the images. The Clarence first opened for business as a hydropathic establishment in 1871 and had several proprietors before 1881[1]. A court case from 1876 involved Aaron Ridgard who claimed to have been living at one of the Hope Terrace houses in 1870[2]. Holme Bank, higher up Holme Road than the Clarence and close to the Lower Towers, was offered for sale in 1872[3]. Green Bank, on the opposite side of Holme Road, had also been built. This all points to the stereoview having been taken in the 1870s.

Of the more established buildings slightly higher up the hill, the Round House is a tiny dark spot above Green Bank and just to the right, peeping between the trees, is the Lower Towers. A little further along Masson Road, going right from Holme Bank, is a tiny white spot, the sign at the entrance to the Heights of Abraham.

The bridge in the foreground spans the River Derwent and to the left of it is the Midland Hotel, where a cab waiting to pick up passengers. This was the favourite spot as several images of Matlock Bath show cabs waiting here. On the far side of the river we can see the gap between the buildings where Holme Road goes up the hill; to the left is North Parade and to the right is Dale Road. Interestingly, the façades of the two buildings on either side of the Holme Road junction were to change slightly before the turn of the century to incorporate bay windows. Two bays were added to Cavendish House at first floor level. Bays were also added to the front of the County and Station Hotel, on either side of the door. They extended over two floors and had (and still have) castellated tops. The portico over the front door was also a later addition to the building.

Enlargement of the left hand side of the stereoview

Stereoview and enlargement of the LHS in the collection of and provided by and © George Pek.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only

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

[1] Joseph Robert was the first proprietor (Derbyshire Times, 27 May 1871). It was advertised again in 1874, complete with croquet lawn, by a Mr. T. Allen. Mr. William Cartledge of the Clarence House Hydropathic Establishment, Matlock, applied for a licence to sell beer to residents on the premises or within the grounds in 1875.

[2] The court case involving Aaron Ridgard of Hope-terrace who claimed he had lived there since 1970 when his home was owned by Mr. Smedley. The date is not accurate as in the 1871 census Ridgard was living on Willersley Lane. See census entry transcript. The family later ran Rose Cottage on the Dimple (1891 census) before returning to Hope Terrace (1901 census).

[3] The Derby Mercury, 1 May 1872. One of several advertisements.