Lovers' Walk (singular) is mentioned in Davis's "New Historical & Descriptive View of Derbyshire", Vol.2 of 1811. Davis notes that a path had been carefully formed to make a pleasant riverside walk. Adam in "The Gem of the Peak" (1838) said the walks had been 'upwards of 80 years in the possession of Mr Walker' , which would suggest that some landscaping had been carried out by at least 1758. the work seems to have consisted largely of clearing a passage through the existing trees on the bankside, although highly picturesque names were given to some of the natural features, such as 'Cupid's Cascade' and 'Queen Dido's Cave'. Later, summer houses were built at points along the walks. Harebell and wild garlic now grow in profusion in the woodland. The original character of Lovers' Walks has been modified with the provision of a children's play area and rather severe fencing. (1)
The Lovers' Walk is broken into a number of sections that strech across the Derwent Valley when the original Lover's Walk was extended. It is very early example of landscaping wild terrain and is believed to be he oldest surviving example of a public pleasure ground, in continuous use since circa 1740. The woodland cover has survived with the exception of thinning trees along the margin of the river. Birdcage Walk, built 1785, took an alternative route uphill, branching off from Lovers' Walk. (2)
Personal Observation: Joyce, B. Personal observation during site visit, through personal knowledge, etc.. September 1991.
Article in serial: Buxton, D. History of individual parks- Lovers' Walk.
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Centred SK 2953 5803 (339m by 616m)
MATLOCK BATH, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
World Heritage Site
Derwent Valley Mills
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Record last edited
Dec 21 2018 9:27AM
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