The Long View

Treat your curious mind to an abundance of stories and a wealth of behind-the-scenes knowledge in our very own exhibition, The Long View.

What brought the first visitors to Matlock Bath? Why would they choose to come here? What was so special that they would travel from miles around?

The answer lies in the waters. No, not the brown muddy waters of the River Derwent, but the thermal waters that once gushed from natural springs thought to be over 2000ft underground. The first visitors believed that these waters had special healing properties, and that if they were to bathe in them, their health problems would magically disappear! The word spread fast, and suddenly Matlock Bath was full of health tourists coming to ‘take the waters’.

As the years went on, several local entrepreneurs saw great opportunities and developed Matlock Bath into the town it is today. But the story doesn’t end there, there are still many mysteries to be solved. Did Queen Victoria really travel up to the Heights on a donkey? How did 3,600 guests all fit into the Rutland Cavern at once? Why did redundant miners become tour guides?

In The Long View, you can discover more about the origins of the Heights of Abraham and also find out for yourself exactly how a team of extremely brave and ambitious engineers built the Cable Car system that carries thousands of visitors up to the Hilltop Estate every year.