The river now flows below a bank of wooded crags, the left side laid out in shady Lovers’ Walks, whilst on the other crooks the long street, where trippers are appealed to by rival refreshment rooms and museums, bazaars of spar and other mineral ornaments that here answer to “A Present from Margate”. Pictorial postcards are as thick as leaves in Vallombrosa; and penny-in-the-slot machines make their mute appeal. Petrifying wells also vie for penny patronage in exhibition of curious and comical affects of incrustation by mineralised waters. Another favourite sight is a fish pond of tepid water in which thrive chub, perch, goldfish and others, kept fat by contributions from an admiring public administered by means of an apparatus for putting in a penny and bringing out a packet of food for the fishes. On the slope behind are the chief hotels with their baths. On this height are gained caves and views, which will not fail to be forced on the notice of strangers; and each of them, according to its proprietor, who ought to know, is the thing most worth seeing in Matlock.
A.R. Hope Moncrieff The Peak Country 1908