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StreetwiseSubbie At Shanakiel’s New Home “Shanakiel” Has An Edwardian Pedigree

Ernest Victor Eames was born at Letterkenny, County Donegal, in 1867, the son of Dr James Eames. Ernest qualified as a doctor at Edinburgh in 1890, and after a period working in Shepton Mallet, he arrived in Heanor, around 1897, to form a partnership with Dr Peters.

In the early 1900s, Dr Eames purchased a large area of land off Ilkeston Road, (or Sye Lane as it was known at the time). This land had been part of the Heanor Hall estate until that was broken up in the 1880s. It was here that Dr Eames built his magnificent Edwardian house, Shanakiel. The name of the house is taken from the area in Cork where his father was the superintendent of the local mental hospital.

The construction was carried out by a local man, John Durow of Marlpool, and the building was not only a house, with stables and land on which to graze the doctor’s horses, but was also a small private nursing home. Dr Eames was extremely keen on horse-riding, and the Earl of Harrington’s Hunt used to meet from time to time at Shanakiel.

Dr Eames retired in 1933, and the house was put up for sale. Contemporary advertisements described the property as comprising:

Consulting Room, Surgery, Waiting Room, Large Entrance Hall, 3 Reception Rooms, Billiard Room, Convenient Domestic Quarters, 4 large and 4 smaller Bedrooms, Bathroom, etc.

All modern conveniences. Garage and Stabling, Charming Garden and Paddock.

No buyer was found, and a proposed auction in 1934 was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Eventually, in January 1935, the property was purchased for £4,000 by the Heanor Urban District Council, and was used as the Council Offices.

Following the second world war, a large part of the grounds of Shanakiel were given up as part of the town’s Memorial Park, with funds being raised by public subscription. Work on creating the park took place in January 1949, when a ceremony took place to cut the first sod. The park was formally opened in April 1951 by the Duke of Devonshire.

In the local government reorganisation of 1973, Shanakiel became the Finance Department of the new Amber Valley District (later Borough) Council. Later, rationalisation in the council saw the building sold for commercial use, and today it is home to It sits in the wonderful surroundings of Heanor Memorial Park, an oasis of peace and calm, tucked away behind a busy road.

So, when the team at StreetwiseSubbie need a break from resolving problems for Specialist Sub-Contractors, they can take a stroll around the beautiful park in which Shanakiel is set.

The historical information, and the accompanying photographs, have been supplied by the Heanor & District Local History Society, a registered charity. For further details, visit Ltd © - Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions

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