Mad about Matlock with Glendon House
23 April 2019
The History of Matlock
A former spa town, Matlock is situated on the River Derwent and is one of the larger market towns in county. Before the Victorian era the town was a group of small villages centring on the Parish Church of St Giles, up above the house on a limestone outcrop. The origin of the name Matlock refers to a place for assembly and oak – an oak tree where meetings were held. The town is sometimes referred to as ‘the Matlocks’. This is a reference to Matlock and Matlock Bath. The two have been favourite holiday locations since the Victorian years. Matlock Bath is referred to in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice and the Peak District has provided the location for this film and many others.
The Victorians brought wealth and prosperity to the town and surrounding area. The town owes much of its status to John Smedley. He built the imposing Smedley's Hydro (now County Hall) and Riber Castle, the imposing, mock medieval castle overlooking the town. Historically the surrounding areas were also rich in mills, producing many goods for distribution across the country. Cromford, just a short distance from Matlock was a key sight in the start of the industrial revolution and you can learn more about this in the Mill’s exhibition. The history of the area has contributed to the variety and diversity of what Matlock offers today. We look forward to welcoming you to enjoy the surroundings.