The squire loved the country life and walked round the estate quite a lot. A small army of retainers worked on the estate, and many indoor servants were employed. There was a fine cricket ground with licensed pavilion, and two good cricket teams could be selected from the staff and other people on the estate.
The collieries were discreetly hidden away from the vista by, woods and coppices, hence the names Woodside and Coppice Collieries. Royalty, earls and other landed gentry stayed as guests at the Hall, one of the highlights was the New Year's ball, when the squire mixed the final punch for the guests to drink at midnight.
To be in the vicinity of the Hall on sunny mornings, when the magnificent gates opened (the entrant gates at Heanor Memorial Gardens are part of them) and see the four in hand, horse carriages, with liveried coachmen and footmen, the harness polished and sparkling, cantering off down the carriageway, was really a wonderful sight.
Shipley Estate, or what is left of it, is now a scene of desolation. The collieries are demolished, the spoil tips stand stark against the sky. The Hall itself has long disappeared, the reservoirs are unkempt and the woods but a shadow of former days. Hundreds of council houses are built on the lush meadows that bordered Heanor. This was a great step forward, for the housing facilities were deplorable. A fine piece of meadow land, bought quite cheaply, is the Grammar School playing fields. The tenant farmers bought some of the farms and the N.C.B. took over the rest of the estate from Shipley Collieries Ltd. on nationalisation.
In the near future hundreds of acres, including woods, ponds and reservoirs, are coming under bulldozers for the extraction of coal. Whatever the future holds the Shipley Hall Estate, as the elderly people knew it, will cease to exist. Only the initials E.M.M. on the lodge cottage walls and Mundy Arms pub names will remind people of the Miller-Mundy era.
Some Queer Happenings
When the last squire died he was buried on the estate, but his grave was disturbed. Rumour says that soon afterwards a strange figure dressed in country tweeds and gaiters, accompanied by a gundog, was seen wandering around at dusk and always disappeared at the crumbling hall entrance. Did Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, visiting Shipley Hall, ask Squire Mundy, “Why did you sink pits on this beautiful estate Mundy? " I find a herd of miners pay better than a herd of deer," said the squire. The Prince replied, "If there is coal under the lawns at Sandringham I will sink a pit and have a herd of miners."
Pretty Nelly Mundy, the squire's wife, must have been a ''bit have been a bit of a gal. A very old miner who worked at the long finished Nutbrook Colliery, said that she examined the Nutbrook shaft ridding on top of the cage and signed out. She was walking round the estate with some earl and came, across some miners going home from work. The earl remarked, "I say, Nell, who are these black blighters? " to which Nelly replied, "They are not black blighters, just some of our, Neddys going home from work.”
The History Of Heanor - Part 10 - by Mr. N Ball
Ripley and Heanor News 14 June 1971
From the family of Leche, the estate passed by marriage to the ancestor of the present owner, Edward Miller Mundy, Esq.
The Mundys of Shipley are a branch of an ancient family, long connected with the county of Derby.
The name appears in private records as early as the time of Edward I, and Sir John Mundy, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1522, was the owner of Mackworth, Markeaton, Allestree and other estates in this county.
Edward Maundy, 'Esq., of Markeaton, who was seventh in descent from the Lord Mayor, inherited Shipley by marriage with Hester, daughter and sole heiress, of Lieutenant Colonel Miller, who possessed the estate by marriage with Hester Leche, sole heiress of the family of that name.
Gilbert Mundy Esq., son of the first owner, was sheriff of Derbyshire in 1697, and Edward Miller Mundy, Esq., a later member of the family, was High Sheriff in 1772, and for thirty nine years Member of Parliament for the County.
In mentioning these names we cannot but speak in terms of praise of the later members of this well known family, who have sought in many ways to promote the interests and well-being of our parish.
Shipley Hall is an elegant stone structure built on lofty ground in the midst of a well wooded and extensive park.
On the west side of the Hall are the coach-houses, stables, etc., and on the south side, the fernery, gardens and extensive pleasure grounds, from the south point of which is to be seem the dim outline of Charnwood Forest and the still more distant summit of Bilsdon Coplow which is beyond Leicester.
The coal mines of Shipley were worked as early as the year 1775, but the mineral wealth of the neighbourhood was known at a still earlier period.
From documents relating to other property in the district we learn that coal was obtained as far back as the time of Edward IV., and the charcoal furnaces of Shipley were employed for the extraction of metal from ironstone as early as the year 1600. The number of persons employed at the Shipley Collieries is over 1,000 and the annual average output about 300,000 tons.
A system which has been adopted on this estate, and which might, with advantage be carried out in other places, is that of planting the heaps of shale, and the vicinity of disused mines with, shrubs and firs, thus counteracting the sterile appearance which, those places would otherwise present.
Shipley Hall Excavations
Ripley and Heanor News 14 Jan 1977
This sequence of building needed to be understood as the cellars which had been uncovered showed a fairly complete plan of all the parts regardless of the date of construction, some being reused or blocked up as new buildings were put up above. The earliest cellar uncovered was of stone, probably mid-17th century in date, while later cellars were brick built. There was very little found in the cellars in the way of objects except for a group of ginger beer bottles dating from about 1920. With the aid of slides, the meeting was able to follow through the excavation of the site, though it did make the work look much easier than it doubtless was for in a space of a few minutes, the site was surveyed, the vegetation cleared and the cellar dug out —work which in reality took many weekends of back-breaking effort.