Derbyshire County Council (n.d.) explains that the Shipley Estate, which was owned by the Miller-Mundy family, became a colliery site in the 16th century, extracting 100,000 tonnes of coal a year by the early 1900's from the four mines. The Shipley Colliery Company bought the mining rights in 1920 and continued mining until the nationalization of the industry in 1947, when they were taken over by the National Coal Board.
The Woodside no.3 shaft remains at the site and is utilised as a minewater control pumping station, with treatment ponds now located to the south of the site on the site of the former Nutbrook mine, while the former Coppice mine was located near the current Shipley Country Park visitor center. The mines had operated for two hundred and fifty years when deep mining ceased in 1966 and opencast mining initially commenced in the area during the Second World War and was introduced extensively from 1970 until 1974.
The National Coal Board worked in conjunction with Derbyshire Country Council restoring and contouring the site in memory of the mining activity that had taken place. Shipley Country Park opened in 1976, whilst Shipley Lakeside, which sits to the west of the site, was designated for leisure development. The artificial lake was originally formed for Shipley Hall and was long and thin in a ribbon form. The lake progressively grew due to the excavation of the top layer coal. The two coal seams were excavated after the completion of the underground mining and prior to the second world war opencast mining commenced within the top 30 meters of ground.
The site lay dormant and inaccessible for many years until the opening of Britannia Park in 1985, but the Park was unsuccessful and closed after just a few months. The site was sold and reopened as the American Adventure Theme Park in 1987, and was home to the 116ft missile and the Nightmare Niagra log-flume, the highest in the UK at that time.
The 2007 closure of the Park left behind a redundant collection of rides, shops and built development. In recent years, to reduce the risk of trespass, vandalism and arson, the site was subject to an above ground clearance scheme, with the demolition of all the rides and associated buildings. Shipley Lakeside is now vastly overgrown and derelict, and whilst foundations and hardstandings remain, the site is littered with rubble and is progressively deteriorating.
Derbyshire County Council (n.d.) Online at - Click here
[accessed 18 September 2012].