Shipley Park - Miller-Mundy Memories
w/e 01 July 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Miller-Mundy Memories Title Panel

Part 7 - Relaxation

Part 6 of the series looked mainly at the ancestry of the Miller-Mundy family and took in some of the associated local sites as well as the site of Shipley Hall itself. Before we move away from the Hall to circumnavigate Shipley Hill, in this part we'll take a look at how the family relaxed both in the Hall and in the grounds immediately adjacent at the approximate positions shown on the map below.

Nineteenth Century Map

As we can see from this map of the area in the late nineteenth century, there was a fair amount under glass and this was connected to the main building by a long glass corridor. To the left of the figure 2 on the map above was the site of the formal gardens and we shall see this bit of the estate when we return to the Hall in a later part.
Floor Plan

Seen here from near to the position of the old fountain (see map) the glass corridor sloped down to join the house at the drawing room. Next to the drawing room was an ante room and at the front of the house on the corner was one of the rooms where the Miller-Mundys and their guests could enjoy dancing as a leisure activity - the ballroom. On the other side of the house mirroring the ballroom was the dining room and behind two more leisure pursuits could be enjoyed - reading in the library and next door the gentlemen would enjoy billiards. You have to remember that the period I am referring too was well before computers, televisions and even many of the board games that became popular in the last century but the floor plan puts me in mind of Waddington's Cluedo.
Glass Corridor

This link to a picture at the Heanor Local History Society website shows the Hall and the glass corridor and the image above gives an impression of how the corridor would have looked as seen from the ballroom window. At the far end of the corridor is the wall marking the boundary of the formal gardens and it is perhaps worth noting at this point that at its height twenty five servants were employed along with thirty gardeners, most of whom lived on site in the Hall or in nearby cottages.
Blue Cedar Tree

The site of the Hall and the formal gardens on the hilltop were shielded from prying eyes by a wooded ring but the area to the front and side of the Hall adjacent to the glass corridor is covered by a large expanse of lawns, shrubs and individual trees. One such tree, at no. 3 on the map above, is a large Blue Cedar. It was planted here in 1904 by a distiguished guest of the Miller-Mundy family, the Prince of Wales later to become King Edward VII.
Drive to the Hall

The Prince and all the other gentry visiting the Hall whether via Derby or Nottingham Lodge would more than likely approached the front entrance by this drive. Derby Lodge is off down the Coach Road to the right and Nottingham Lodge is much nearer behind and to the left. Taken at position 4 on the map above, this is the view along the drive to the Hall but the path seen off to the left is not shown on the said map. This however is the path we shall be following through the woods to complete a circuit of the hill top before returning to the Hall.
Anyone For Tennis?

Only a few short steps along this path, there is a clearing in the trees and a slight depression in the ground level (top left) which at this time of year is difficult to see due to the growth of grass, wild flowers and weeds, most noticably stinging nettles (above right). If you know where to look however, it is possible to find some brickwork among the undergrowth (bottom left) that marks the corner of a former tennis court - more evidence, remembering the cricket ground from Part 4, of the leisure and sporting activities enjoyed by the family.
Pet Cemetery

We also know from earlier that the estate was noted for hunting and that dog kennels were sited near to the cricket ground. The name too, of Dog Kennel Lane has survived from earlier times but the family also had a number of faithful friends that were family pets. Several of these pets - a number of five has been mentioned - were buried in a small pet cemetery adjacent to the tennis court. From experience I can tell you that these graves are very difficult to find hidden as they are now, among the overgrowing bushes and trees. But find them I did - eventually - and discovered the two remaining headstones. The inscription on one could not be read but the one nearer to the camera in the inset reads, "To Rita, A Faithful Friend, Died 1878".

It is easy then to imagine the master of the house walking his dogs through the secluded grounds of the estate but only a few steps from here he could be out of the trees overlooking and keeping a watchful eye on one of the collieries that was contributing to his wealth. It is here too that we will resume in Part 8 to begin our walk around the top of the hill.

Back to Part 6 - The Rise and Fall of Shipley Hall ------ Forward to Part 8 - Ha-Ha, It's A Folly
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