1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Matlock

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MATLOCK, a market town in the western parliamentary division of Derbyshire, England, on the river Derwent, 17 m. N. by W. of Derby on the Midland railway. Pop. (1901), of urban district of Matlock, 5979; of Matlock Bath and Scarthin Nick, 1819. The entire township includes the old village of Matlock, the commercial and manufacturing district of Matlock Bridge, and the fashionable health resorts of Matlock Bath and Matlock Bank. The town possesses cotton, corn and paper mills, while in the vicinity there are stone-quarries and lead mines. A peculiar local industry is the manufacture of so-called “petrified” birds’ nests, plants, and other objects. These are steeped in water from the mineral springs until they become encrusted with a calcareous deposit which gives them the appearance of fossils. Ornaments fashioned out of spar and stalactites have also a considerable sale.

Matlock Bath, one and a half miles south of Matlock, having a separate railway station, overlooks the narrow and precipitous gorge of the Derwent, and stands in the midst of woods and cliffs, deriving its name from three medicinal springs, which first became celebrated towards the close of the 17th century. They were not known to the Romans, although lead-mining was carried on extensively in the district in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. The mean temperature of the springs is 68° F. Extensive grounds have been laid out for public use; and in the neighbourhood there are several fine stalactite caverns.

Sheltered under the high moorlands of Darley, Matlock Bank has grown up about a mile north-east of the old village, and has become celebrated for the number and excellence of its hydropathic establishments. A tramway, worked by a single cable, over a gradient said to be the steepest in the world, affords easy communication with Matlock Bridge.