The Whitworth History Blog – Pt 1

Whitworth History Blog

The Whitworth History Blog will bring you historical facts, articles and stories associated with Sir Joseph and Lady Mary Louisa Whitworth, their legacies associated with the Whitworth Centre.

We will circle back to the career, life and times of Sir Joseph Whitworth, but let's start at the inception of the Whitworth Institute and details about the creation of the Whitworth Hospital and Whitworth Institute in 1888.

From an article in the Long Eaton Advertiser - Saturday 03 November 1888


During his life time the late Sir Joseph Whitworth did a great deal towards the amelioration of the condition of the working classes living in the district contiguous to Stancliffe Hall, his Derbyshire residence, and the deceased baronet's name is now to be perpetuated in Darley Dale by two magnificent memorials for the benefit of the neighbourhood. The two gifts which are now being bestowed, under the direction of Lady Whitworth and her co-executors, Mr. Chancellor Christie, and Mr Darbyshire, are estimated to cost an aggregate of from £21,000 to £23,000.

They will comprize a cottage hospital, fitted with modern appliances, and an extensive block of buildings in another part of the parish, intended as an institute for educational and recreative purposes. The first gift supplies a long felt want, and the site chosen for the institute abuts on to the main road, between Matlock Bridge and Darley Dale, overlooking the valley of the River Derwent. The hospital building is already in course of construction. Extending north and south it will have a frontage of about 120 feet. On the ground floor there are four wards for general hospital purposes, a medical officer's room, and matron's sitting and bedrooms. All these have an outlook to the front with a south-western aspect. At the back of this portion of the building a wide corridor runs the full length of the hospital, ornamented with glazed tinted bricks. The entrance will have an imposing porch and vestibule, communicating with the main corridor and staircase. The latter stands facing the entrance, and leads to the second storey, where there will be three large bedrooms for convalescent patients. At both ends of the wings well-appointed bathrooms are to be provided. From the centre of the main building, at the back, will extend a wing, giving the whole structure the form of a cross. This portion will comprise the kitchen, scullery, wash-house, open-yard, &c. About 20 or 30 yards from the hospital there is also in course of erection a small hospital for the reception of infectious diseases. The building will be provided with every accommodation, so as to render it independent in its operations.

The other and more important part of the gift to Darley Dale is that of a building, which has scarcely yet been commenced. This is to be situated in what is known the Station Field, and the junction of four roads leading from Matlock, Rowsley, Darley, and Two Dales. The frontage will extend 190 feet, and the ground floor there will be two class rooms, billiard room, smoke room, playroom, swimming bath, about 60 feet long by 30 feet wide, gymnasium, kitchen, laundry, &c. On the second storey there are to be a large assembly room, two class rooms, lavatories, baths, &c. The whole of the plans have been prepared by Messrs. J. W. and R. Beaumont, architect, of 10, St. James' square, Manchester, and the contractors are Messrs. Southern and Sons, of Salford; and Mr. L. T. Wildgoose, of Matlock, is supplying the stone work. The whole of the building will probably not be completed for nearly two years.

The Whitworth History Blog, 2019