Tuesday, 12 November 2013


On a bright sunny morning, there are few pleasures quite so satisfying as a brisk walk around Shipley Lake. The lake was once a rather grand fish pond and boating lake, part of the Shipley Hall Estate, the remains of which are still to be found atop Shipley Hill.  Between 1889 and 1966, the whole area was transformed into what was known as Shipley Woodside Colliery. Parts of the old colliery are still to be found, although now held more as museum pieces.  The old pit-head winding gear is probably the most prominent.
Following the demise of the coal pit, the area was left more or less untouched, until it was transformed once again, into the ill-fated American Adventure Theme Park.  Now, where once members of the Miller-Mundy family of Shipley Hall entertained guests in small leisure craft on the fish pond, a replica Mississippi paddle steamer plied its trade across the water.  All that came to an end a few years ago and the area once again changed course, parts of the area being taken over by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust - now managed as the Woodside Nature Reserve.  From the other side of the lake, at this time of year and with the sun shining on the leaves, it makes quite a spectacle.
Water from the main lake, drains into smaller lakes and water courses which run throughout the woods and parkland.  From our vantage point standing on the bridge which once looked out to the Miller-Mundy's boat house, the lower lake was also looking pretty good today.
Our walk this morning also took in some of the woodland which surrounds Shipley Hill and this too warranted a photo or two.
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