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Heanor Observer 14 May 1970

Now that all the coal and ironmasters have disappeared from the local scene, their estates sold and their great mansions demolished or used for other purposes, a glimpse into the past and present of one of these estates should interest local people. The ultimate destruction of Shipley Hall estate is now foreshadowed.  What memories, of the grand scale of life it brings to the locals who remember the early 1900's up to 1920!

The lush meadow lands, lawns, woods and coppices stretched from Shipley Common along the Ilkeston Road to Heanor, skirting Mundy Street and edging along the Derby Road to the lodge, at Smalley, a beautiful self-contained estate. There were miles of splendid carriage ways leading to five or six lodge gates, with keepers living in delightful cottages.

The Hall itself was a large self-contained mansion with a magnificent staircase and banquet hall, dairy, bakery, laundry and heating units, in fact the lot. The gardens were a joy to behold, and some of the first tomatoes grown locally were grown in what was known then as glass hot houses. It was rumoured they had roses blooming all the year round.

In  spring time  the verges of the carriage ways were resplendent with a glorious display of rhododendrons, honeysuckle and many other blossoms. The woods and coppices, with their many different species of trees, were an ever-changing pattern of greens and gold from spring into autumn. An abundance of wild life in the woods and reservoirs made shooting and fishing a popular pastime.

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.

Present

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.”    

     
"TANTIVY"


The History Of Heanor - Part 10 - by Mr. N Ball

Shipley Hall

Ripley and Heanor News 14 June 1971

One of the prettiest places formerly within the limits of our parish, and though mow separated, still of great interest to the inhabitants of these parts, is the ancient manor of Shipley. This place, which was held soon after the conquest by the De Muskhams, became, after three generations, the property of Sir Robert le Vavasour. The heiress of this name brought the estate to 'the Strelleys, who in 1330 had two parks or enclosures here, both of which were stocked with deer. This family obtained sanction tor the establishment of an oratory or private chapel at Shipley. No remains of this now exist, but mention of it is made in a M.S. history of the county written about 1716. There were thus (with that of Codnor) two private chapels in our parish during the Middle Ages, the burying place in each case, being at the parish church.

The Strelleys held Shipley until the beginning of the 17th century, when the manor was sold to Sir George Parkham.

A few years later, in 1626, it was purchased by Sir Edward Leche, who was a Master in Chancery in the reign of Charles II.

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.
The building has two fronts north and east, the latter of which was added in 1777. Other portions of the building date from the year 1700. The variety of scenery with which the place is surrounded — the mingling of rich wood­land, verdant lawns and ex­tensive reservoirs— renders the district one of great attraction to the neighbourhood.
'The whole estate comprises about 3,000 acres, of which over 300 are planted with timber, while the reservoirs occupy an area of nearly 100 acres.

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

Excavation The last meeting of 1976 of Heanor and District Local History Society heard a most interesting, illustrated talk on a particularly local topic — Shipley Hall. The speaker was the president of the Ilkeston Local History Society, Malcolm Burrrows, who has for the past 18 months led a team of workers who have excavated the cellars of the now demolished hall. Mr. Burrows began by emphasising that he spoke of the work only as a member of the team, but it was obvious during the evening that Mr. Burrows was indeed much more than that for he had studied the history of Shipley Hall in much more depth than the cellars revealed.

Mr. Burrows began by explaining the sources of information for his study — from documents such as earlier works on Derbyshire, inventories and hearth tax returns; from people who remember the hall and its occupants; and from early photographs. This information was compared with the findings from the excavations, much of which confirmed what was already thought about the hall.

With the aid of plans, the speaker was able to show the historical growth of the hall before the major rebuilding of 1788, the familiar Georgian building and the Victorian additions of 1895.

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.

As the cellars will become unsafe if left exposed, it seems likely that after careful surveying and recording, they will once more be filled in. This will serve the dual purpose of making them safe, and leaving them available for excavation by future generations of archaeologists.

Mr. Burrows was thanked for his excellent talk by the society vice chairman, Mrs. E. Waterall, and the meeting was then reminded that the first meeting of the society in 1977 would be on Wednesday, 12 January, at 7.15 p.m. in the church hall, Ilkeston Road, Heanor. This meeting will take the form of an "open night" when slides, photographs and documents relating to local history will be available for discussion by members and friends.

Plan of Shipley Grounds and Fields
Map Click On Map To Enlarge

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