About this image
Showing Smedley's Hydropathic Establishment and a general view of the town.
Smedley's Hydro was built in 1853 by George E Statham as architect for John Smedley, with castellated additions in c 1867, and french chateau style additions in 1885. The Hydro had its own private church, demolished in 1958-9.
Smedley's hydro was enormously successful, and particularly popular with the middle classes of society. In 1867 Smedley treated 2,000 patients (despite competition from 9 other spa establishments in Matlock Bath) and costing from six Shillings per day for food, lodging and treatment. Rooms were palatially decorated in a classical style with pillars, columns, capitals, cornices and arches and furnished with high victorian style velvets and mahogany. There were many communal rooms for socialising such as the Drawing Room, Dining Room, Winter Gardens and Reception Area. It provided sports facilities such as The Bowling green and the Billiard Room.
Treatment rooms varied from the Well Room (for the drinking of spa waters), massage, turkish baths, swimming, to the electrical (!) treatment room. The establishment then passed into the hands of the Matlock Bank Hydropathic Company (Limited), and was under the care of Dr. William B Hunter. It remained in use until the mid 20th century.
The buildings were finally bought by Derbyshire County Council for their headquarters in 1955.