New Matlock Bath beauty therapy shop revives magic of old apothecary

Old Apothecary shop manager Claire Pearson, who previously ran the Bee Tree women's clothing store in Matlock Bath.

The owners of a new beauty and bathing shop in Matlock Bath are hoping customers will help peel back its 180 years of history to find a very modern apothecary.

The North Parade store, which dates from around 1835, reopened its doors on Boxing Day as the Old Apothecary Shop.

There are plans to restore even more original features in the near future.

It is now owned by Yorkshire couple Cath and Claire Swindells, who bought the property after falling in love with its period charm.

They spent the last few months of 2017 beginning to restore it to its former glory with manager Claire Pearson.

Claire, 40, said: “It’s been more about preservation than restoration so far - taking care of the woodwork and glass.

“We’ve been in touch with a local iron worker who is going to help with the windows, and we hope to get the ceilings and chandeliers reinstated soon.”

Owner Cath Swindells bought the shop after falling for its period charm.

She added: “The history here is incredible. It first opened as a pharmacist and we’ve found potion and lotion bottles which date back to the shop’s early days. All the cabinets are original too.

“We’re still digging, and hoping to find out more and more about its history as we go. We’ve been given lots of old photos, which we plan to display in the shop - if anyone has more we’d love to see them.”

The property was most recently used as a chocolatier, and its dazzling array of new stock is like a candy store for people who love cosmetics.

Claire said: “Everyone who comes by the shop has felt pulled inside, it’s like magic.

Most of the stock is made with all-natural, animal-friendly ingredients.

“People want their photos taken outside too because it’s so beautiful.

“Everyone has been happy to see it open again and very supportive. It feels like the business community is turning in Matlock Bath, with more long-term traders who aren’t only here for the tourists.”

The shop sells everything from bath bombs, soaps and healing salves to men’s grooming products and gifts such as walking sticks and binoculars, all chosen from high-quality suppliers such as Soaphouse, Taylor of Old Bond Street and Bluebeard’s Revenge.

Starting next month, therapist Marc Bennett will also be offering in-store treatments such as aromatherapy massages and reflexology.

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, Claire is hosting an official launch event all day on Saturday January 20.

More details about the shop can be found on Facebook at

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