Posts Tagged ‘Matlock Bank’

Lumsdale and Matlock

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

We had a day before we left Matlock when we were not looking after grandchildren and went on a walk. I’d been to Lumsdale before on my own at the end of 2018, but Linda hadn’t so we decided to walk up there .

The beginnings of our Industrial revolution were driven by water power, before the age of steam, and valleys like Lumsdale were where it began. The Bentley Brook which runs down the valley is a relatively small stream, but the valley falls quite rapidly and its water flow could be harnessed by a series of mills on its descent.

Importantly, its flow was pretty reliable through the year, and could be maintained at a pretty constant level by damning its flow to build ponds at the top of the valley, two of which are still there, though the top pond above them is now dry.

We climbed gradually up the valley, going past the derelict structures of several mills. This picture is looking down from the top of the falls in the picture above, which was taken from roughly where you can just see a person in a red jacket. There are few places with any guard rails and the rocks were damp and slightly slippery, and I was hanging onto a small tree but still didn’t feel too safe, and had to move back from the edge.

Higher up things seem rather safer, and the flow of the river more a result of man-made activities, including a dam to create a large holding pond. There is a second pond a little higher up the valley, and higher still I photographed the remains of another dam, which burst in 1947 and has not been repaired. There are useful explanatory boards at key points on the extensive site, but it remains for the most part open and unchanged for people to walk around, unlike some other ‘heritage’ sites.

We walked across from Lumsdale to Matlock Bank, stopping for lunch at the Duke of Wellington on the Chesterfield Rd before going down Rockside Steps and past the old tram depot to Bank Rd and down to the river.

It wasn’t a very long walk, but was full of interest, as I hope the pictures at Lumsdale & Matlock on My London Diary show.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Matlock Walk

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Last October seems now so long ago. Linda and I had gone to Matlock to look after two of our grandchildren for a couple of days in what turned out to be a small family emergency.

I took a few photographs on the walk back from taking the girls to school, and then went out later in the day for some exercise. Matlock is a pretty hilly kind of place, so I got plenty of it.

Matlock Bank is an area on a hill that rises up from the riverside at the centre of Matlock, with Bank Road rising pretty steeply up the hillside. It doesn’t have any banks on it, though there are some shops, the post office and police station close to the bottom, several churches higher up as well as offices for the local council and, close to the top those for Derbyshire County Council in what used to be Smedley’s Hydro.

It was this hydro, and other similar smaller establishments that made Matlock the town it is, and the spa became an important tourist centre in the nineteenth century. I knew, having done my research earlier in The Crown.

In 1893 a cable-hauled tramway opened on Bank Road, “Tuppence up, Penny Down” for the ride up around 300ft of hill on the world’s steepest tramway on public roads, a gradient of 18% – 1 in 5½. Unfortunately it was closed in 1927, with the council who ran it replacing it with a motor bus service.

There are still buses. Occasionally, though I didn’t see one while out for my walk. But I was glad I hadn’t brought my bike. I just don’t have the gears forgetting up 1 in 5½ – or the brakes for going down.

More pictures on My London Diary in Matlock Town Walk.