New Bath Hotel, Matlock Bath
December 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery has bought a watercolour of the New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath. The picture was sold to the museum by a private seller and has just come back after undergoing conservation work – check out the before and after photos below.
The sign on the gable end of the hotel reads ‘Saxton’s New Bath Hotel’. George Saxton and his son (also George) owned the New Bath Hotel from around 1797 to the 1850s. During this period Matlock Bath was a burgeoning tourist town attracting visitors with its warm medicinal waters and rocky picturesque setting – you’ll see the watercolour shows the hotel against a backdrop of limestone cliffs.
Matlock Bath had many hotels and boarding houses but ‘well to do’ visitors would stay at either the New Bath Hotel, Temple Hotel or Hodkinson’s Hotel.
The three hotels had the same tariff and in 1819 they charged 5s a week for a bed chamber, 14s to a guinea for a private parlour and bathing was 6d a time. Each hotel would have also provided post-chaises and horses for excursions to local beauty spots.
Dr. Granville writing in ‘The Spas of England’ in 1841 considered the New Bath Hotel the best of the three with the decorated ball room being its main attraction. Benjamin Bryan in his 1903 book ‘History of Matlock’ describes the hotel as being ‘finely placed, has been thoroughly modernised, is luxuriously finished, and admirably managed’.