About this image
The Royal Theatre, as it was originally called, was built in 1773, paid for by James Whiteley, and opened on 13th September 1773. It was converted from a malthouse, built c 1712, and the first play performed there was Oliver Goldsmith's 'She stoops to conquer'.
Popular actors came up from London to perform there for short seasons. It closed in 1864, possibly because it was too small, and was sold to William Wilkins, and was re-opened as a Gospel Hall. When this re-located to Becket Street after World War II it became a library and then a Magistrates Court, this closed in 2003.
Exact location on Bold Lane unknown.
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.