Matlock Derbyshire Family History Guide

Matlock is an Ancient Parish in the county of Derbyshire.

Other places in the parish include: Matlock Bank, Riber, Starkholmes, and Matlock Bridge.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1637
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1662

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

MATLOCK, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Bakewell district, Derbyshire. The village stands amid romantic scenery, on the river Derwent, ½ a mile SE of Matlock-Bridge r. station, and 15 N by W of Derby; existed at the time of the Norman conquest; formed then part of the manor of Mestesford; was given to William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby; went to the Crown, on the rebellion of that nobleman's son; was given, by Edward I., to the Earl of Lancaster; passed, in the time of Charles I., to "Ditchfield and others;'' was afterwards sold to several persons; retained, till recently, an ancient custom akin to that of the rush-bearing which still exists in some old villages in the N of England; was formerly a market-town; and still has fairs on 25 Feb., 2 April, 9 May, and 25 Oct. The parish contains also the hamlets or Villages of Matlock-Bank, Matlock-Bath, Matlock-Bridge, Riber, Scarthin-Nick, and Starkholmes; is traversed northward by the Derby and Buxton railway; has a r. station with telegraph at Matlock-Bath, another r. station at Matlock-Bridge, a head post office† at Matlock-Bath, and another post office‡ at Matlock-Bridge under MatlockBath; abounds in highly picturesque scenery, particularly in the gorge and on the flanks of Matlock-Dale along the Derwent; is frequently visited, in the summer months, by excursion trains; enjoys much celebrity, as a resort of tourists, and a retreat of invalids; possesses mineral springs of high note at Matlock-Bath, and eight hydropathic establishments at Matlock-Bank; has a number of excellent hotels, and many excellent lodging-houses; carries on industry in corn-mills, bleach-works, and a paper-mill, and in the manufacture of cotton, candlewicks, hats, and spar-ornaments; and contains lead mines, which formerly were worked to a great extent, but now are worked on a very diminished scale. Acres, 3,960. Real property, £14,098; of which £330 are in quarries, £63 in mines, and £74 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4,010: in 1861, 4,252. Houses, 878. The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to W. P. Thornhill, Esq., and others. Willersley Castle was built n Sir Richard Arkwright, and is now the seat of F. Arkwright, Esq. Some of the many features of interest are the Lovers' Walks, with winding paths through woods, and with richly diversified views of Matlock-Dale; the Heights of Abraham, about 650 feet high, ascended by a zig-zag wooded walk, and commanding a splendid view of the surrounding country; Masson Hill, nearly 800 feet high, also ascended by a zig-zag, and commanding views of portions of five counties; High Tor, nearly 400 feet high, rising sheer up from the Derwent, clothed with shrubs and trees in its lower part, but a naked mass of rock for more than 150 feet of its upper part; High Tor grotto, at the base of the High Tor cliff, and covered over sides and roof with splendid agglomerations of crystalized spar and other minerals; New Speedwell mine, at Upper Wood, near what are called the Romantic rocks, penetrable about 430 feet by visitors, and exhibiting beautiful assemblages of stalagmites, stalactites, and flour spars; the Devonshire cavern, discovered in 1824, about 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, and roofed with magnesian brinestone, dipping at an angle of 45 degrees; the Cumberland cavern, about 300 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 18 feet high, and rich in pectens, coralloids, and entrochites; and the Rutland cavern, on the Heights of Abrahan, a place of great subterranean chambers, naturally groined arches, and lofty dome-like roof, abounding in brilliant spars, zinc ores, and various fossils, worked as a mine in the time of the Romans, the Saxons, and the Danes, and still retaining traces of Roman work. The surface, on the whole, is popularly and justly regarded as the paradise of the Peak, not surpassed in brilliance by any equal extent of landscape in Britain; and the rocks, in their forms and characters and relations, are scientifically and truly regarded as a grand record of geognostic changes. Darwen says, -

Proud Masson rises rude and bleak,
And with misshapen turrets crests the Peak,
Old Matlock gapes with marble jaws beneath,
And o'er scar'd Derwent bends her flinty teeth;
Deep in wide caves below the dangerous soil,
Blue sulphurs flame, imprison'd waters boil
Impetuous steams in spiral columns rise
Through rifted rocks, impatient for the skies:
Or o'er bright seas of bubbling lavas bloe,
As heave and toss the billowy fires below;
Condensed on high, in wandering rills they glide
From Masson's dome, and burst his sparry side;
Round his grey towers, and down his fringed walls,
From cliff to cliff the liquid treasure falls:
In beds of stalactite, bright ores among,
O'er corals, shells, and crystals, wind along;
Crusts the green mosses and the tangled wood,
And, sparkling, plunges to its native flood.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £340. Patron, the Bishop of Lichfield. The church stands on a high and thickly planted rock, near traces of Druidical stones and an ancient camp; is later English, plain, tasteless, and in bad condition, excepting the chancel, which was rebuilt in 1859; and has a good pinnacled tower, and two memorial windows. The vicarage of Matlock-Bath is a separate benefice. There are Independent chapels at Matlock village, Matlock-Bank, and Matlock-Bath, Wesleyan chapels at Matlock-Bridge and Scarthin-Nick, and Primitive Methodist chapels at Matlock-Bank, Scarthin-Nick, and Starkholmes. There are also a free school and a parochial school at Matlock, and a national school at Matlock-Bath. The sub-district contains also another parish, and eight townships of four other parishes. Acres, 14,895. Pop., 9,815. Houses, 2,094.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918


Matlock Derbyshire Marriages 1637-1812  - UK Genealogy Archives

Parish Records - FamilySearch

FamilySearch Catalog - Free


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


County: Derbyshire
Civil Registration District: Bakewell
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Lichfield
Rural Deanery: Ashover
Poor Law Union: Bakewell
Hundred: Wirksworth
Province: Canterbury