Matlock & High Tor

Matlock is in the centre of some dramatic landscape, if only on a relatively small scale, and before catching the train home on Sunday I spent the morning walking around some of it.

A footpath from Snitterton Rd took me uphill to give views down on Matlock Bank on the other side of the Derwent, and then through some green fields to a path beside a wall with some views of the impressive limestone cliffs above the river.

This came down to a road beside a church which almost seemed to be built into a rock face, the rather unusual Grade II* listed Chapel of St John the Baptist, built in 1897 for Mrs Louisa Sophia Harris in a part of her garden as she didn’t care for the services at St Giles in Matlock with a Rector who refused to allow her a memorial for her dog. As well as employing the leading Arts and Craft architect Sir Guy Dawber to design her a private Anglo-Catholic Chapel, she also paid some of the leading artists of the day in its interior decoration, including stained glass by Louis Davis (1860-1941), a plasterwork ceiling with painted vines and moulded swallows, by George Bankart (1866-1929) and an altarpiece painted by John Cooke and more. The chapel was in a poor condition when taken over the the charity Friends of Friendless Churches in 2002, and they have spent £300,000 in restoring it to its previous glory, but I wasn’t unable to go inside. Apparently there is a tiny plaque
under a side window, to Vida – Mrs Harris’s dog.

There were more fine views as I walked down St John’s Road, and then took the parth across the river and under thre railway to go up to High Tor Lane, walking up along this as far as a viewing platform before turning around and walking back and then up Pic Tory, which has Matlock’s War Memorial at its top.

From there I walked back down to wait for Linda (who had been to church) in the park, and we had some lunch and another short walk in the town before catching the train to take us back to a very different landscape down south.

More at Matlock & High Tor.
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My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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