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The Ballroom or Winter Garden, Smedley's Hydro, Smedley Street, Matlock, c 1900
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Smedley's Hydropathic Establishment (as it was termed) was built in 1853 by George E Statham for John Smedley, with additions circa 1867 and in 1885.
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 nine other spa establishments in Matlock Bath). 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 Garden (or Ballroom as seen here) and Reception area. Sports facilities included a bowling green and Billiard Room. The Hydro had its own private church, demolished in 1958-9.
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) under 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.