Shipley Park - Miller-Mundy Memories
w/e 05 August 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Miller-Mundy Memories Title Panel

Part 8 - Ha-Ha, It's A Folly!

We left Part 7 of the series under a featureless sky (left) and begin this part in a similar position but in much brighter conditions (right) overlooking Shipley Lake and the former site of the American Adventure Theme Park. The Park announced early in 2007 that it would not be opening again due to financial difficulties but our walk this time will take away from the American Adventure around the wooded hill top.
Poacher's Rest

The buildings seen on the opposite side of the Lake, the centre piece of the original park, are at the former theme park which grew up from the ill-fated Britannia Park that went bankrupt just ten weeks after opening in 1985. (Read more at the Heanor Local History site). Prior to that Woodside Colliery had occupied the site and when the Miller-Mondays owned the mine, they would have been able to keep an eye on the site from this vantage point.
Ha-Ha Wall

This area at the top of the hill is known locally as Poacher's Rest, presumably because any transgressors of that persuasion would need to gather themselves here after scrambling up the hill before attempting to enter the Hall grounds. Part of the "defences" surrounding the grounds and proving an obstruction to poachers was a ditch and ha-ha wall. The primary purpose of such a construction is to divide lands without detriment to the view or the landscape whilst also serving as a barrier to livestock. I suspect poachers found it more of an inconvenience than a deterrent. The tennis court referred to in Part 7 is to the right of this image and we must return there to continue on the path seen here above the ha-ha.
Popular Path

Back on track this is a well used and popular path with a number of wooden benches at intervals allowing walkers the opportunity to sit and enjoy views through the trees and over Shipley Lake.
Views of and from the path

This selection of views from the path includes from the left, another path off back to the Hall site; the route ahead; a view over the lake; backlit leaves hanging across the path and another path to the Hall with the remnants of a boundary wall.

Down To The Wall

Eventually the path divides and swings to the right. It is worth making a slight deviation from the main path to descend the slope to the edge of the wood. A stone wall marks the boundary and a gap in the wall seen here just right of centre is our objective.

That gap gives access to a walled enclosure which was the family's graveyard. Alfred Edward Miller-Mundy was buried here in 1920 only to be exhumed two years later to be moved with the family to Red Rice House in Hampshire when they sold the estate. The engraved stone at one end of the graveyard reads "This Cross Was Erected To The Glory Of God And To Commemorate The Consecration Of These Burial Grounds October 1920." Sadly the cross that topped the stone has now disappeared.
The Folly

The Folly - Inside ViewRetracing our steps up the hill and continuing along the path we soon reach the Folly, now fenced off for safety reasons. Apparently this ruin is pretty much how it was constructed and although the outside view is of clinker bricks the interior (right) shows a normal house brick construction. Several theories have been expounded as to its purpose including an Outdoor Theatre and a Hunting Lodge but as it is amongst the trees and maps from over one hundred years ago still show the location to be in a wood, it is unlikely that it was built as a viewpoint over the surrounding countryside.

A number of stories and rumours are also recalled about the Folly and at the risk of being prosecuted for treason, I'll recount just one that was told to me. I stress this is only a rumour or hearsay and is not reliable information at all but when the Prince of Wales visited the Miller-Mundys a century ago this was one of his favourite haunts for entertaining female guests and it would not be a surprise to find some diluted Royal blood coursing through the veins of local Derbyshire folk even today. By the way, you didn't hear this from me, OK?

In the next part, we will continue from the Folly back to the Hall.

Back to Part 7 - Relaxation ------ Forward to Part 9 - Gardens And Glass
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.