Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire, England. It is situated at the south eastern edge of the Peak District. The town is twinned with the French town Eaubonne. The former spa resort Matlock Bath lies immediately south of the town on the A6. The civil parish of Matlock Town had a population in the 2011 UK census of 9,543. The population of the wider Matlock urban area is approximately 20,000 (including Darley Dale, Tansley, Hackney and Matlock Bath). The Matlock area is considered to include Wirksworth, owing to the close proximity of the towns.
Matlock is nine miles (14 km) south-west of Chesterfield, and in easy reach of the cities of Derby (19 miles), Sheffield (20 miles), and Nottingham (29 miles); the Greater Manchester conurbation is 30 miles away. Matlock is within the Derbyshire Dales district, which also includes the towns of Bakewell and Ashbourne, as well as Wirksworth. The headquarters of Derbyshire County Council are in the town.
Matlock town centre
|Population||9,543 (civil parish 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
The name Matlock derives from the Old English mæthel (or mæðel), meaning assembly or speech, and āc, meaning oak tree; thus Matlock means 'moot-oak', an oak tree where meetings are held. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was recorded as Meslach and in 1196 it was named Matlac. It is a former spa town that lies on the River Derwent, and has prospered from both the hydrotherapy industry and the cloth mills constructed on the river and its tributary Bentley Brook.
It was a relatively inconspicuous collection of villages in Wirksworth Hundred — composed of Matlock Town, Matlock Green, Matlock Bridge, Matlock Bank — until thermal springs were discovered in 1698. The population increased rapidly in the 1800s, largely because of the popular hydros which were being built. At one stage there were around twenty hydros, mostly on Matlock Bank, the largest built in 1853 by John Smedley. This closed in 1955, and re-opened in 1956 as the headquarters of the Derbyshire County Council. Matlock is also home to the Derbyshire Dales District Council as well as Matlock Town council.
Matlock has a town council (the urban equivent of a rural parish council) which is the lowest tier of local government. The Council meets twice a month. There are 11 Councillors who cover the area and 9 members of staff. Matlock Town Council's jurisdiction extends covers the Town Centre, Matlock Bank, Hurst Farm, Matlock Green, Matlock Town, Starkholmes and Riber.
The second tier of local government is Derbyshire Dales District Council which covers almost a third of the mainly rural parts of the County, including the towns of Matlock, Ashbourne, Bakewell, Wirksworth and Darley Dale and over 100 villages. The Council has 39 District Councillors elected in 25 wards. Matlock is represented by 6 councillors in the two wards Matlock All Saints and Matlock St Giles.
The top tier of local government is Derbyshire County Council that has responsibilities for the whole of Derbyshire apart from the City of Derby. Matlock is represented by one county councillor (out of 64 councillors in total).
The main offices of all three tiers of local government are sited in Matlock. The Town Council is situated in the Imperial Rooms close to the bottom of Bank Road, the District Council is halfway up Bank Road and the County Council is at the top.
As regards national democracy, Matlock forms part of the Derbyshire Dales (UK Parliament constituency). The MP currently (2015) is Patrick McLoughlin. He has held the seat for the Conservative Party since 1986.
The main physical features of the Matlock area are the hills and watercourses. The height of the town (above mean level) varies from 91m at Causeway Lane (in the valley bottom) to 203m at the top of Wellington Street. Matlock is overlooked by Riber Castle at 260m from the south-east and by Masson Hill at 339m from the south-west. The first human settlement in the area was in what is now known as Old Matlock or Matlock Green. This was where the Bentley Brook joined the River Derwent. When the town grew in the late 19th century, the town spread up the steep hillsides to the north-east of the narrow valley bottom.
Various industries made use of the natural features:
The natural features also constrained transport links:
The geology of the Matlock area is extremely complex. Broadly speaking, the Derwent valley bottom forms a boundary between the sandstones and gritstones to the NE and the limestones to the SW. There are igneous intrusions into the limestones to the SW.
This geology has been exploited by the quarrying and mining industries. The sandstones and gritstones have been quarried as building materials (e.g. at Bentley Brook Quarries) and the limestones for building materials and the manufacture of lime (e.g. at Harvey Dale Quarries). The igneous intrusions gave rise to valuable minerals which have been mined (e.g. in the Bonsall area), particularly for lead. A very rare lead halide mineral called Matlockite was first discovered at nearby Bage Mine in the early 1800s, and is named after the town.
The route of the River Derwent downstream (south) of Matlock is especially interesting to geologists in that it appears to have cut its way through a limestone gorge below High Tor (120m above river level), rather than follow the "simpler" way to the east. It is thought that landslips and/or glaciation may have had an influence over how the present route of the river was established.
The area on the western edge of the town, bounded on the north and east by Old Hackney Lane, Hurds Hollow, and Dimple Road, and on the south by Bakewell Road, is named as Dimple, on the Ordnance Survey map.. In 1740 Spring Cottage was built on the Dimple, extended in 1940 and now Sheriff Lodge
In 1893, Matlock Cable Tramway, a cable tramway was built up Bank Road from Crown Square at Matlock Bridge to Wellington Street (at the top of Bank Road) with a stop halfway up at Smedley Street where Smedley's Hydro (built by John Smedley) was situated. Conceived by Job Smith, the tram was inspired by San Francisco's famous cable cars, and cost £20,000. When it was built it was the steepest tramway in the world at a gradient of 1 in 5½, and it rose 300 feet (91 m). The fare was tuppence up, penny down. It closed in 1927 after losing business to cars and buses.
In 1849, the railway came to Matlock. Matlock railway station was opened on the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway, later the Midland line between London and Manchester, until the section between Matlock and Buxton was closed in 1968 following the Beeching cuts. Network Rail considered re-opening the line, with a study carried out by the county council. Although it proved to be unfeasible in the short term, the track bed will be kept free of development as the study showed that the line could be economically viable from around 2025. The section from Wye Dale (about 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Buxton) to Coombs viaduct, a point about a mile south-east of Bakewell, has now become the Monsal Trail, an 8.5-mile (13.7 km) walk and cycle trail.
Trains still run between Matlock and Derby on the Derwent Valley Line. Peak Rail, a preserved railway, runs steam trains on a section of the closed line between Matlock, Darley Dale and Rowsley. Previously it used its own station, Matlock Riverside, a short distance to the north of the mainline station, however as of 2011 both Peak Rail and trains on the Derwent Valley Line share the same station.
Hall Leys Park is a Victorian public park in the centre of Matlock, Derbyshire which opened in 1898. It lies between the River Derwent to the south and Causeway Lane to the north. The park has many facilities and in 2004–2005 underwent major regeneration as part of the Matlock Parks Project with funding from the Millennium Commission.
At the Crown Square/Matlock Bridge end of the park there is the town's war memorial and a wishing well. Beside this there is the shelter from the former cable tramway which was moved to the park when the tramway ceased to operate in 1927.
Moving away from Crown Square there is, next, a large grass area and some tennis courts. As part of the refurbishments which took place, the old grass tennis courts were replaced with a skateboard park.
In the centre of the park is the Victorian bandstand which is used regularly in the summer months by local brass bands and for events such as the annual Matlock Victorian Christmas Weekend - held on the first weekend of December. Beside the bandstand is a footbridge over the River Derwent which has markings indicating the height of several floods that hit the town in the 1960s and 1970s. The café, on the opposite side of the bandstand, has similar markings for other floods.
Hall Leys Park is now a central part of the town's flood protection. The wall which surrounds the northern side of the park has the ability to have the footways sealed with sheets of wood which would dam the progress of any overflow from the river and turn the entire park into a large reservoir. Further down the park there is a putting green and a Crown Green Bowls green.
A miniature railway runs half the length of the park along the river but, due to the lack of any turning space, the return journey is made in reverse.
Hall Leys Park is occasionally the site for visiting "Continental Markets" and, since the summer of 2006, regular "Farmers' Markets". It is also the centre of the Matlock Victorian Christmas Weekend held annually on the first weekend of December.
Bank Road runs from Crown Square up Matlock Bank, a steep hill which gives the road its name, to Wellington Street. Although many consider the whole incline to be Bank Road, just over halfway up beyond Smedley Street the road is called Rutland Street. Bank Road has many local landmark buildings along it - from the bottom of the hill (Crown Square) travelling north:
NB. Beyond Smedley Street, Bank Road is actually Rutland Street.
Dale Road runs all the way from Matlock Bridge (road bridge over the River Derwent) to North Parade in Matlock Bath. It forms part of the Derby to Manchester road (A6) and has very many bends. Dale Road, like Bank Road (see previous section), contains a large number of examples of Victorian architecture, although only four are listed by English Heritage. However all buildings on Dale Road are included in two conservation areas created by Derbyshire Dales District Council. These conservation areas are called "Matlock Bridge" (from the bridge over the Derwent to the railway bridge over Dale Road), then "Matlock Dale" to the outskirts of Matlock Bath. In this section, the main features of Dale Road are described, starting at Matlock Bridge and then proceeding in a southerly direction until the High Tor Hotel.
Matlock is also home to Matlock Cricket Club playing next to the football ground, and Matlock and District Swimming Club (also known as MAD Swimming) which trained and competed in the nearby old Matlock Lido before it closed in August 2011 with subsequent events transferred to the Arc complex. Matlock Cycling Club has helped produce a number of national and international status riders including Tim Gould, Olympian Mountain Biker Annie Last and has a popular youth section.
Matlock's rugby team play their home matches at nearby Cromford Meadows. They run 3 senior teams and the 1st XV compete at Level 6 in the RFU league structure. Matlock Rugby Club also has a thriving minis and junior section with over 250 members all supported by fully qualified mini and junior coaches. In 2007 the club was awarded the Derbyshire Tigger Price Memorial trophy for the team of the year award.
Matlock creative and performing arts were enhanced in 2004 when the annual arts festival Matlock Live! began. It takes place in June or July each year featuring local musicians, dancers, artists, etc. The local secondary school, Highfields School, achieved status as a Performing Arts College due to its connections with Matlock Live! As part of the summer event, Matlock Live invites buskers and other street performers to form a busking trail around Matlock raising money for the charity Aquabox. Matlock Music present a series of public concerts at Highfields School (Upper Lumsdale site). Storytelling is also well represented with a monthly venue at the Imperial Rooms.
The first school in Matlock was founded in 1647 as a free school for local boys, originally funded by local George Spateman of Tansley and from 1668 by Anthony Wolley. This school was rebuilt in 1829 and expanded in 1860 and 1889 and girls first attended in 1816. This school has since been demolished (the date is unknown).
Another school, All Saints Primary School, was founded in 1875 to provide for the population of the newly developed Matlock Bank. This school still operates and is the biggest primary school in Matlock. In 1897, a third school, the Council School, was constructed on Matlock Bank, at the junction of Smedley Street and Chesterfield Road. It also still operates as Castle View Primary School.
Before Highfields School was founded in 1982, when the tripartite education system in Matlock ended, there were two secondary schools in Matlock; Charles White Secondary Modern School (founded in 1956, and named after two local MPs, father and son, the latter of who died in 1956) and Ernest Bailey's Grammar School (founded in 1924 and named after its wealthy founder).
As a Grammar school, Bailey's accepted students whose parents paid or who gained scholarships (by passing the Eleven plus exam) until fees were phased out, leaving scholarship as the only means of entry. Those who didn't attain a scholarship attended Charles White - it is estimated that Charles White students outnumbered Bailey's students 3:1. White had been built especially by Derbyshire County Council to accommodate the children who couldn't attend Bailey's.
The two schools were merged to create Highfields, a comprehensive school. The site of Charles White in Starkholmes became the 'lower site' of Highfields for years 7-8, while Bailey's was converted to the county council records offices. A new site was built to house the new 'upper site' at Lumsdale for years 9-13.
For over 10 years, the council had proposed to allow a Sainsbury's supermarket to be built in Cawdor Quarry, a disused quarry next to the railway station. In early 2007 building work started, and it opened 4 October 2007. A new access road with its own bridge over the River Derwent allows the A6 to bypass the town centre, while the old bridge has been restricted to one-way traffic (out of town) and allows pedestrian access to the train station, a newly built bus station and the supermarket from the town centre. Several bus routes continue to serve only the old Bus Station on Bakewell Road, making Matlock one of the smallest towns in Britain to boast two bus stations.
There has been a negative image of Matlock Town centre due to the limited retail offer for a town of Matlock's size which was identified in the Matlock Masterplan - a document produced by the district council. There has been a worry that many locals now choose to shop in neighbouring towns due to this perceived problem. The local council had a wider development planned for the future with key development sites on Bakewell Road, Firs Parade and Imperial Road which were identified in 2007 in the masterplan.
In 2010, Crown Square was updated with the replacement of pavements and street furniture intended to provide a new look more appropriate to the conservation area, the old tarmac pavements and traffic island being rebuilt in local sandstone, barriers replaced with heritage bollards and all the street lights replaced. Bakewell Road and Firs Parade were not included in this phase as they are just off Crown Square, and along with Imperial Road they are yet to be redeveloped.
The Youth Hostels Association (YHA) has its national headquarters in the former Severn Trent Water building on Dimple Road, Matlock. YHA has had two hostels in the town. The first (1933–1934) in Tor Dale and the second (1983–2007) in Bank Road. Despite the close proximity of the Head Office, Bank Road closed in 2007 as part of a restructuring exercise. It has subsequently been redeveloped.
Alan Frederick Parker (born 26 August 1944) is a British guitarist and composer.
Parker was born in Matlock, Derbyshire, and was trained by Julian Bream at London’s Royal Academy of Music. He had a successful career as session guitarist starting in the late 1960s, and played with Blue Mink, The Congregation, Collective Consciousness Society and Serge Gainsbourg.
Much of his session work has gone uncredited, but he has been named as the electric guitarist on Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man", the Walker Brothers' "No Regrets", David Bowie's "1984", Mike Batt's "The Ride to Agadir" and the Top of the Pops theme music version of "Whole Lotta Love".Parker's later work comprised compositions for film and television. His television work includes Angels, Minder, The Glory Boys, Dempsey and Makepeace, French Fields, Red Fox, ITN's News At Ten, and the BBC series Walking with Cavemen and Coast. His film scores include Jaws 3-D (1983), American Gothic (1988), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (2006).
Parker is also known to have owned Jimi Hendrix's Epiphone acoustic guitar, which was given to him by Hendrix in March 1970.All Saints' Church, Matlock Bank
All Saints’ Church, Matlock Bank is a Grade II listed parish church in the Church of England in Matlock, Derbyshire.Ann Leslie
Dame Ann Elizabeth Mary Leslie, DBE (born 28 January 1941) is a British journalist who writes for the Daily Mail.Bert Loxley
Herbert Loxley (3 February 1934 – 9 October 2008) was an English footballer and manager. As a player, Loxley spent the majority of his career at Notts County, where he played more than 250 first-team games as a wing-half. Loxley made his debut for the Magpies during the 1954–55 season. In 1964, he left Notts County, and had a brief spell on the books of Mansfield Town.
Following a spell in non-league football, Loxley returned to the professional game in October 1966, when he joined Lincoln City as a member of the coaching staff. However, due to an injury crisis, Loxley had to resume his playing career, and played seven times for the Imps during the 1966–67 season.In 1970, Loxley was appointed manager at Lincoln. He quit as manager in March 1971, and returned to his old job in the Lincoln coaching staff. He stayed with the club until 1987, and was awarded a testimonial in 1979–80 for his services to Lincoln City.
Loxley died in October 2008, following a long illness.Brian Edmeades
Brian Ernest Arthur Edmeades (born 17 September 1941) is a former English cricketer who enjoyed a successful county cricket career with Essex between 1961 and 1976. Edmeades was an all rounder who went on to score over 15,000 runs, including 15 centuries, and took 500 wickets for his county.Christopher Green (writer-performer)
Christopher Green (born c. 1968 in Matlock, Derbyshire) is an English writer and performer whose work covers comedy, cabaret, theatre and live art.Highfields School, Matlock
Highfields School is a coeducational secondary comprehensive school located in Matlock, Derbyshire. At the time of its September 2012 Ofsted inspection, the school had 1337 pupils (male and female) on roll aged 11–18, with 215 in the sixth form. It is split across two sites in the town 1.8 miles apart.Jeff Allen
Jeff Allen (born Jeffrey Allen, 23 April 1946, Matlock, Derbyshire) is an English rock and blues session drummer. Allen is best known for his work with East of Eden, Babe Ruth, Snowy White, Bonnie Tyler, Mick Taylor and Van Morrison.
He is not to be confused, although in many listings often is, with the similarly named, former drummer with the British glam rock outfit, Hello, whose brother is Ultravox's Chris Cross.John Bowne
John Bowne (1627–1695) was an English immigrant residing in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, who is honored today as a pioneer in the American struggle for religious liberty.
Born in Matlock, Derbyshire, on 9 March 1627, Bowne emigrated with his father and sister to Boston, Mass. in 1648. Bowne became a merchant and married well, his first wife Hannah Feake (ca.1637–1678), whom he married in 1656, being a great-niece of Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts. Bowne and his bride, along with his in-laws William Hallet and Elizabeth Fones, soon became adherents of the new doctrine of Quakerism, which was then being actively repressed in most of the English colonies of New England. Accordingly, by 1661, they had relocated to Flushing, Long Island, where a small group of English-speaking Quakers were attempting to practice their faith in defiance of the Dutch governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant.
In 1662, Bowne was arrested by the New Amsterdam sheriff, Resolved Waldron, under orders of Governor Stuyvesant, for allowing a Quaker meeting in his house. Refusing to pay the assessed fine, or to depart from the province, he was sent to Holland for trial before the Dutch West India Company. There, he successfully exonerated himself by appealing to the guarantees of religious liberty contained in the Flushing patent of 1645 granted by Governor William Kieft; see Flushing Remonstrance. Winning the respect of his judges by his uncompromising stance, he was released, and returned triumphantly home in 1664, Governor Stuyvesant being ordered to extend tolerance to all religious sects.
Although New Netherland was soon to become the English colony of New York, the ideal of religious freedom for which John Bowne had stood up was upheld by the province's new rulers, serving as an example for the other English colonies in North America, and ultimately to the framers of the American Constitution as well.
A 1672 letter from Bowne and other Quakers to the Governor of New York explaining their conscientious refusal to contribute funds for the repair of the fort of New York is one of the earliest examples of American Quaker war tax resistance.
John Bowne later served in the provincial assembly of New York, dying in Flushing on 20 December 1695.
John Bowne's first wife Hannah Feake (or Feke) was the daughter of the Elizabeth Fones who served as the title character in Anya Seton's historical novel "The Winthrop Woman". They had 8 children.
John Bowne's second wife was Hannah Bickerstaff (married 2 Feb 1679/80) and had 6 children (2 died soon after birth).
John Bowne's third wife was Mary Cock (married 26 June 1693) and had two children.
A park, high school and an elementary school in Flushing, Queens are named in his honor.
His house at Bowne Street and 37th Avenue in Flushing still stands, and is open to the public as a NYC Landmark and a Registered Historic Place.
On 20 October 2018 a memorial stone was unveiled and a lime tree planted on the corner of Lime Tree Road and Hurst Rise, Matlock, Derbyshire, the site of John Bowne's birthplace, Lime Tree Farm.John Smedley (industrialist)
John Smedley is the name of four generations of owners of Lea Mills, near Matlock, Derbyshire. The most famous of these was John Smedley (1803-1874), born Wirksworth, Derbyshire.Karma Kid
Sam Knowles (born 1 August 1994), known professionally as Karma Kid, is an English electronic dance music record producer and DJ from Matlock, Derbyshire. He was educated at Highfields School and obtained a place at the University of Huddersfield which he deferred a year to concentrate on his music.Keith Ellis (musician)
Keith Ian Ellis (19 March 1946 – 12 December 1978), was an English bass player. He was born in Matlock, Derbyshire. He is known for his associations with The Koobas, The Misunderstood and Juicy Lucy. He was also a member of Van der Graaf Generator from 1968 to 1969. Ellis worked with Mike Patto and Ollie Halsall's band Boxer from 1975 until late 1976 when the original Boxer line-up split.He died in Darmstadt, Germany in 1978, whilst on tour with Iron Butterfly. No cause of death was determined.The song "Not For Keith" on the album pH7 by Peter Hammill, (1979) was a tribute to Ellis.Malcolm K. Hughes
Malcolm K. Hughes is a meso-climatologist and Regents' Professor of Dendrochronology in the Laboratory for Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona.Matlock Cable Tramway
Matlock Cable Tramway was a cable tramway that served the town of Matlock between 28 March 1893 and 30 September 1927.Matlock railway station
Matlock Railway Station is a railway station owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Trains in the town of Matlock, Derbyshire, England. The station is the terminus of both the Derwent Valley Line from Derby and Peak Rail who operate heritage services to Rowsley South. Both lines are formed from portions of the Midland Railway's former main line to Manchester. Through running is technically possible but is not done in normal service.Mick Green
Michael Robert Green (22 February 1944 – 11 January 2010) was an English rock and roll guitarist who played with The Pirates (with and without Johnny Kidd), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.Riber Castle
Riber Castle is a 19th-century Grade II listed country house in the hamlet of Riber on a hill overlooking Matlock, Derbyshire. Known locally as "Smedley's Folly" because of the difficulty of getting water to the hill summit, it was built by the industrialist John Smedley in 1862 as his private home. His wife lived in it until her death.It is built of gritstone from a local quarry (Derbyshire is well known for its quarrying) which was pulled up the 200-metre (660 ft) hill by a series of pulleys.After the death of Smedley's wife, the castle became a boys' school until this became financially unsustainable in the 1930s. With the coming of World War II the Ministry of Defence used the site for storage. The MoD left following the war and the castle remained unused until the 1960s.From the 1960s to September 2000 it was home to a wildlife park, containing British and European fauna. Riber Castle Wildlife Park, or Riber Zoo as it was known, was eventually sold by the owner, but they were unable to sell it as a going concern, and so the park eventually closed. The park was criticised heavily for the treatment of the animals kept there, and the closure was not without controversy. Activists also released several lynx from Riber Zoo which escaped into the wild.
Plans to turn the shell into apartments received planning consent on 15 March 2006. The castle walls have now been secured, chimneys and floors rebuilt, 119 windows replaced and a roof added. It is expected that two show apartments will be ready some time in 2014. Access to the site before 2006 was securely restricted, until the perimeter fence was unwired to provide unrestricted access to the site, which later became a commonly used footpath. However, recently developers have added a second (more secure) fence, boarded up all entrance points and have manned security onsite. More recently, the castle has been converted into flats.The castle and the town of Matlock are key locations in the Shane Meadows film Dead Man's Shoes.Tim Gould
Tim Gould (born 30 May 1964) is a former professional racing cyclist specialising in cyclo-cross and mountain bike racing.