Britain’s crumbling seaside resort 50 miles from the coast


If you look up from pretty much any point in Matlock, you will see Riber Castle, the mighty mock-Gothic folly that overlooks the town. That was of course the intention of John Smedley, the 19th-century knitwear baron who built it; God bless the memory of the planning officers who turned down his original plan for a mighty mock-Gothic phallus.

I mention the castle because it is in the process of being redeveloped and if, as planned, it reopens as flats in the next couple of years, then Matlock will soon boast some of the maddest homes in the UK.

Which is not to say the Matlock area isn’t a bit mad already. Matlock itself is a respectable county town in the south-east part of the Peak District…

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