Glendon Guest sitting room with leather sofas and chairs

The history of Knowleston Place in Matlock

22, Oct 2016 | Matlock

Glendon (number 7) is part of the row of four grand Early Victorian residences built between 1857 and 1858 by local industrialist John Knowles on Knowleston Place. The properties were described as beautiful villas, with ornamental and rock gardens opposite shared between the houses in the style of a London garden and laid out by Joseph Paxton at a cost of £6000. The name of the house is original and means ‘the fortress by the Glen’. The names of the other houses are, Woodville, Ecclesbourn and Endcliffe. These are also original.

Ecclesbourn was a former home of Gilbert Sudbury Hall born in Matlock on December 28, 1890. Gilbert was shot down by the Red Baron over the western front in 1916. In St Giles’ Churchyard the family erected a fine headstone in tribute to their fallen son.

Matlock church

Stone heads of Kings and Queens can be seen at the sides of windows, these appear to be Medieval in design. These elements are taken from a Gothic design period that the Victorians embraced. A fine stone gas lamp sits in the gardens between number 7 and 9. The houses are now Grade II listed and are considered to be one of the most elegant rows in the town, being close to Hall Leys Park and with a delightful front aspect towards St. Giles Church.

A Tufa rock formation links Glendon and Derwent House. Tufa is a very porous limestone rock. Victorians embraced the many qualities of Tufa. It became incredibly fashionable in the 1800s, particularly with nobility and landed gentry, utilising this versatile rock forming garden landscapes lasting hundreds of years. It is a sign of wealth. We believe the link was formed to show that John Knowles owned both the properties.

Historical image of Knowleston Place Matlock

Derwent House, dated 1753 (number 5) sits at the side of the terrace. It was believed to be John Knowles’ family home and now serves as a holiday home for visitors to enjoy. The house is Georgian in design with Victorian elements. Number 3 Built in 1772 was an extension to Derwent House and was built for the Coachman and a Maid. Number 3 is currently being renovated.

In the picture it is interesting to see that Riber Castle has not yet been built. Therefore this image must predate 1862. Also the bay windows are missing from Derwent House. These where a later addition during the Victorian period.

Knowleston Place is now part of the Matlock Town Trail and close to the Derwent Valley Heritage Way.

Matlock church statue


Other articles you may be interested in