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Matlock Molar Maintenance.

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

No pedalling involved in this one. An ageing molar was in need of maintenance. Lower right seven to be precise. Didn't fancy riding back home afterwards so took the car, popped into Sainsbury's to pick up some essentials, viz beer, and then found I'd still half an hour to occupy before my appointment with the ivory hunter in Holt House. How else to occupy the time than to pick up another couple of bygone boozers.

I walk along Holt Lane, past the dentist, and a hundred yards or thereabouts before rejoining Dale Road I come to Rock Cottage. From OS map evidence and census returns I believe this to be the former Rock Inn, which was run for many years by Thomas Green.

Thomas is found in Holt Lane from the 1851 census, but he is given varying occupations over the decades including coal merchant and quarryman. It's not until 1881 that I see any reference to an inn. (I've translated the 19th century scrawl as 'Inn Owner', but I could very well be wrong.) He's certainly described as an innkeeper in 1891, but as to when the Rock first started serving I'm not sure.

Thomas is still found at the Rock in 1911, but by now his daughter, Sarah, is described as the head of the household and publican. His beer must've been good stuff for he died later that year aged 98 or 99. Sarah is the following year's edition of Kelly's Directory as a beer retailer in Holt Terrace, but after that |I can find no trace of the Rock. As for Sarah, I believe she died in 1919.

The former Rock Inn, Holt Lane, Matlock.

The blue plaque on the wall bears an inscription which goes along the lines of this. 'In this place on 3rd Sept 1785 nothing interesting happened.' I'm recalling this purely from memory as I couldn't get close enough to get a pic as the border collie at the window was already making enough noise to wake Thomas and Sarah.

[Edit December 2020. Returning to the scene I've discovered that my recall of detail isn't as good as I'd hoped! But I wasn't that far out!]

Since producing the draft of this post I've come across this page which Ann Andrews is kindly allowing me to share. It gives a bit more detail about Thomas and Holt Lane.

Walking back up Dale Road towards my meeting with the drill I pass the former Queen's (Head) Hotel. It originally had a noggin but was decapitated at some time in its life.

The first reference that I can find for this establishment is in Glover's 1829 directory where Anthony Walton is supplementing his income as a stonemason by performing a bit of innkeeping. Six years later Jewett's 'The Matlock Companion' has a Timothy Spencer as mine host.

A bit of stability arrives with the Ropers. No, not George and Mildred (remember them?), but Francis and Elizabeth. Between them they ran the place form the 1840s to the 1860s, with Elizabeth running it on her own after Francis's death in 1848.

After the Ropers, James Blackshaw was in charge for a decade or so after which we see a couple of Williams. Francis Frith has this embeddable image which shows the inn around the time of the Blackshaw days. I've put it below anyway to save putting a massive strain on their bandwith!

William the first was William Abbott, who found himself a long way from his Australian home, and then William Squires is found in occupation according to a couple of censuses and the 1912 edition of Kelly.

The fomer Queen's Hotel, Matlock.

Sometime at the end of the 19th century the hotel had a facelift and was decapitated at a point after 1912 as from at least 1939 it is simply referred to as the Queen's Hotel. When did the Queen's close? Probably in the early 1970s. It appears in the 1972 telephone directory but is absent from the following year's edition.

What about that molar? Pleased to report a totally painless process. The syringe probably contained some of Thomas's beer.

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