Shipley Park - Miller-Mundy
w/e 05 August 2007
this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Part 8 - Ha-Ha, It's A Folly!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Back to Part 7 - Relaxation
------ Forward to Part 9 - Gardens
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