Matlock’s Growing Rocks.
In the Derbyshire town of Matlock can be found an unusual number of rocks known as Tufa. This knobbly stone has been used as a building material over the years, and in fact a house has been built using this stone which can be found in the Via Gellia which I have written about and can be found on this web blog.
The photograph above is of a large boulder of Tufa stone which is located in the centre of the fishpond at Matlock Bath on the other side of the road from the public house also known as the fishpond, large Koi carp can also be found swimming around the large boulder looking for food.
It is said that Tufa is formed by heavily mineralised water depositing lime upon moss, over many years the lime builds up and the moss rots away resulting in a spongy looking rock which grows ever larger over time.
Tufa can ‘grow’ in banks up to 20ft (6m) thick. There are large deposits at Matlock Bath and Alport, near Youlgreave.
Tufa was quarried at Dunsley Springs above the Via Gellia and built the picturesque Marl Cottage nearby, the only one of its type in England.
Tufa was sold in large quantities in the 19th century for building the type of romantic features which the Victorians loved, especially fountains and ponds, rockeries, grottoes, arches and arbours. These are typical of the way it has been used in Matlock Bath, where the thermal springs have formed massive banks of tufa.