Matlock in 1837
Matlock is in the wapentake of Wirksworth, on the banks of the river Derwent, i8 miles from Derby. The parish of Matlock contains 3,960 acres, or more than 6 square miles. The five principal villages in it are Matlock, Matlock Baths, Matlock Bank, Harston or Hearthstone, and Ryber. The village of Matlock is ancient, and chiefly inhabited by the persons employed in the neighbouring lead-mines and in the cotton manufacture. Matlock Bath is nearly a mile and a half distant from the village, nearer to Derby, and is much resorted to by visitors, as much for the beauty of the situation as for the baths. There are three inns or hotels, several lodging houses, and a museum, containing an excellent and tastefully-arranged collection of minerals, shells, and birds, and some articles of sculpture. There is a bridge over the Derwent at Matlock village. The church is a small edifice in the later English style of Gothic architecture. There are several Dissenting meeting-houses in the parish. The population of Matlock, in 1831, was 3,262. The living is a rectory, of the annual value of £320, with a glebe-house, in the gift of the dean of Lincoln. The market formerly held at Matlock has been discontinued, but the place is well supplied with provisions. The education returns for 1833 comprehended 11 day-schools, 1 of them supported by endowment, and containing 30 boys, the other 10 containing 127 boys and 92 girls ; 2 boarding-schools, with 12 boys and 24 girls; and 4 Sunday-schools, with 214 boys and 233 girls.
Matlock village and bath are in a dale which extends for two miles north and south, bounded on each side by steep rocks; whose naked sides rise to the height of nearly 300 feet ; the summits are sometimes bare, sometimes covered with wood. Through this dale the Derwent flows, and its banks are lined with trees, except where the rocks approach, and rise almost perpendicularly from the water. Not far from Matlock is Willersley Castle, built by Sir R. Arkwright, and occupied by his descendants. The Matlock waters were brought into notice about 1698, when a bath was paved and built; but the place for a long time presented few conveniences. At later periods other springs were discovered, and new baths formed. The waters have a temperature of about 66 or 68 degrees of Fahrenheit. They are considered to resemble the Bristol waters, and are recommended in bilious disorders, in phthisis (=tuberculosis, Chris Peen 2004), diabetes, and other complaints.