I occurred to me that I have been waxing lyrical about the area of Shipley Park and Ilkeston for some time now and should add a little history (pre mining). Seen from the air, the plan of the old hall is obvious, surrounded by trees.
The Estate has been known since the Norman conquest when the area was given to Gilbert of Ghent along with further land in 15 other counties. It is thought that it was a gift from William l for Gilbert's support during the conquest. There had been a hunting lodge on top of the hill - around the position of the old hall.
Shipley was then an important hunting estate for the rich and powerful of Norman England.
Following Gilbert's death in 1094, the Manor of Ilkeston passed to his son Walter of Ghent. Walter died around 1134 when the estate passed to the Muskham family in about 1139. Robert de Muskham is thought to have been the founder of St. Mary's Church, Ilkeston. Robert's son, Hugh inherited the land and in turn passed it to his own son, another Robert. It then passed to Isabell, daughter of the first Robert de Muskham and through her, to the de Gresley family via her marriage to Ralph de Gresley in about 1216. Ralph, being described as 'languid' in 1228, passed the manor to his daughter Agnes and her husband Hugh Fitz Ralph. It was this Hugh who was granted Ilkeston's market charter in 1252.