The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Drawing room at Smedley's Hydro

Drawing room at Smedley's Hydro

A carte-de-visite showing the drawing room at John Smedley's 'Hydropathic Establishment' at Matlock in Derbyshire.

While on honeymoon in Switzerland John Smedley (1803-1879) became seriously ill and had to return to England. He recuperated at a hydropathic establishment in Yorkshire and later took the waters at Cheltenham. Hydropathy became the greatest interest in his life and in 1853 he opened his own hydropathic establishment at the Derbyshire town of Matlock, which had developed as a spa once the beneficial properties of is thermal springs were discovered.

Smedley's Hydro closed in the early 1950s. In 1955 the building was purchased by Derbyshire County Council to use as its headquarters.

Photographed by J. Barber of Matlock.


Code: 124856
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