Shipley Park - Miller-Mundy Memories
w/e 03 June 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Miller-Mundy Memories Title Panel

Part 6 - The Rise and Fall of Shipley Hall

We left Part 5 of this series near Nottingham Lodge where I said that it was a good place to stop and reflect on our journey so far. Before we move on, I think this is a good point to look at the maps below. The first one below shows some points of interest that I will refer to in this, the sixth part.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
The main entrance into the Shipley Estate estate in times gone by was via Cotmanhay Lodge (1) and the light blue line indicates the route to the Hall. Number (2) is the position of Cotmanhay Church. The Market Place and St Lawrence's Church at Heanor are indicated by (3) and the Shipley Hall site, our objective in this part is at (4) which is where we'll also take a look at the Miller-Mundy family tree.

This second map shows the site layout from about a hundred years ago. Like the first map, the light blue line indicates Coach Road from the Cotmanhay Lodge while the green line is the alternative route in from the Derby Lodge. The pink line is Dog Kennel Lane that leads up the hill to Nottingham Lodge. The red line of course shows our route into Shipley Hall along the Suffragette Wall between the two lodges which is known as Lodge Walk. A more up to date map is very similar although several features have now disappeared.
 Estate Entrance

Lane through Shipley WoodNottingham LodgeSo first of all let's take a look at the old entrance to the estate on Heanor Road. Cotmanhay Lodge to the left of the entrance subsequently became 311 Heanor Road. From here a lane through Shipley Wood (left), skirted the southern end of Shipley Lake to rise up the hill along Coach Road. At Nottingham Lodge (right) it entered the Hall grounds and also continued to Derby Lodge which we shall see in a later part. It's at Nottingham Lodge where we ended in Part 5 that we'll resume our walk.
Lodge Walk

Instead of entering the grounds directly we'll continue along Lodge Walk towards Derby Lodge by the Suffragette Wall, the original Coach Road now being the other side of the wall. Built to protect the estate from the suffrage movement at the beginning of the last century I said in the previous part that it could be easily scaled but on reflection, whilst today's young women would not find it too much of a problem, it was probably high enough to prove at least a deterrent to suffragettes garbed in the long dresses that were fashionable in the Edwardian era.

"Tradesman's Entrance"At the end of the wall (left) we can now double back to zig-zag through to the courtyard at the rear of Shipley Hall via the "tradesman's entrance". This is what it looks like today (above) and its main use now is as a car park for the vehicles of disabled drivers who are visiting the Country Park. It was at this point near the double sided information board that we paused last autumn for the guide who was leading the walk in the "Autumn Footprints" programme to summarise the Miller-Mundy family history. That history can be traced back to Sir Edward Leche who was Lord of the Manors of Shipley and Duffield until his death in 1649.

Information BoardThe information board is packed with snippets about the history of the estate and contains family crests, a floor plan of the Hall and photographs of both the Hall and the grounds. It also includes a picture similar to the one at the head of this page showing the Hall in all its glory. Many visitors to the site today will be unaware of its history but, standing quietly for a while, the past, with the family's connections to nobility and royalty, simply oozes out of the remains of the Hall. And if you're here at twilight you may even hear an organ playing or see the Squire riding by on a phantom horse. These are just two of the ghost stories told about the family.
But putting stories of apparitions to one side, prior to to Sir Edward Leche, the Lords of Shipley Hall can be traced back to the year 1000AD when it was held under Danelaw by Ulf Fensic, a Viking. It eventually passed into Norman hands and via the de Muskhams and le Vavasours to the Strelley family in 1302. The Strelleys held the estate for over 400 years but were forced to sell it to pay off family debts in 1608 when it was bought by Sir George Peckham (or Parkham) of Stanley Grange. The first reference to a Hall on the site is around 1600 but this was demolished to be replaced by a new one in 1750. This was followed by 150 years of regular alterations, renovations and additions but today all that remains is an outline of the ground floor rooms.

Ground Floor Layout

Sir George only held the estate relatively briefly selling it to the aforementioned Sir Edward Leche of Wrotham, Maidstone, Kent in 1626. It was Sir Edward's grandson John who married Elizabeth Duke in 1689 and their daughter Hester married a Miller (also of Wrotham in Kent) in 1712. They too had a daughter, also called Hester, but she was orphaned at the age of five and was cared for by grandmother Elizabeth. When Hester (the younger) married into another well-to-do family from Allestree, Derby her husband was the third son of Robert Mundy. His name was Edward Mundy who was to become the High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1731 but Hester kept her surname due to the wealth she brought with her and hence started the Miller-Mundy line. Both Hester and Edward died in 1767 and control of the estate passed to their daughter Hester Margaretta Miller-Mundy until her marriage to Sir Roger Newdigate. She then had to relinquish control to her younger brother Edward Miller-Mundy who inherited on her marriage. It was this Edward (the 1st) who was responsible for the construction of the Nutbrook Canal and the reservoirs at Mapperley and Shipley.

Remains of the Hall

It was also during Edward's (the 1st) time that coal started to be extracted. Edward, who became a Member of Parliament for South Derbyshire, married three times, his second wife being Georgiana, widow of Thomas the 4th Lord Middleton of Wollaton Hall and his third Catherine, widow of Richard Barwell. But it was his eldest son Edward (the 2nd) by his first marriage to Francis Meynell, co-heiress of Godfey of Yeldersley who inherited on his death in 1822. Edward (the 2nd) only held the estate for twelve years as he died in 1834 when it passed to his son, another Edward (the 3rd) who like his grandfather before him became an MP for South Derbyshire. This Edward did not enjoy good health and died in Barbados in 1849.
Heanor & Alfred's Tomb

His younger brother Alfred was also living abroad - he was the Colonial Secretary of South Australia - and, as the only remaining child of Edward (the 2nd), returned home to inherit the Hall. He is remembered for donating the land for Heanor Market Place (above top), his brother Edward (the 3rd) being buried nearby at St Lawrence's Church (above in both pictures on the left). Alfred owned the estate for 28 years and died at Nice in 1877 but his body like his brother's, was also returned to Derbyshire to be buried in the churchyard at Cotmanhay (above bottom right) close to the main entrance to the estate that was mentioned earlier. There then followed 43 years where the ownership of Shipley Hall belonged to Alfred's son Alfred Edward who was known locally and affectionately as "The Squire". On his death aged 71 in 1920, the estate passed to his son Godfrey.
The Hall's Front Porch

In 1922 Godfrey sold the estate to the Shipley Colliery Company and moved to Red Rice House in Andover, Hampshire, thus bringing to an end about 200 years of Miller-Mundy ownership. The Squire who had been buried on Shipley Hill was moved with the family but it was the sale of the estate that sounded the death knell of the Hall. Whilst the Miller-Mundys had owned the estate, none of the mining activities were allowed to encroach under the Hall but the Shipley Colliery Company were bound by no such constraints . Sadly what had contributed to the wealth of the Miller-Mundy family also led to the downfall, Cotmanhay Church Sitealmost literally, of the Hall. After the sale, the Hall was occupied for a time by the colliery manager but as it says on the information board, "mining of the rich coal reserves under the hill led to chronic subsidence and seriously affected the foundations. It was finally demolished in 1943 because of fears for public safety." The sale of the estate may not have caused Alfred to turn in his grave at Cotmanhay Church but his bones may well have been heard to rattle in his tomb when the subsidence that resulted in the demolition of his former home also caused the same fate befalling Cotmanhay Church {right). Serious structural damage caused by the subsidence meant demolition in 1983.

If you have enjoyed this look at the history of the Shipley Estate, be sure to visit the pages linked below to the Heanor and District Local History Society. The Shipley page is about the Miller-Mundy family and a gallery of old postcards shows views of the Hall and the grounds (including pictures of Cotmanhay Lodge).

Links to Heanor and District Local History site - Shipley and Shipley Postcards

Back to Part 5 - Up Shipley Hill ------ Forward to Part 7 - Relaxation.
Use the Quick Links below to access other pages.

Site Navigation

"Pick A Picture"
Weekly Favourites
Latest Images
Holidays &
Days Out
Special Features
The Guest Page
Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind
Jigsaw Puzzles
Recommended Links

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.