Tibshelf in East Derbyshire is a large, former coal mining village, with a population of around 3300. Its coal mining industry goes back over 650 years and ended just 70 years ago when the 2 longest surving pits, Long pit and Bottom pit were closed. In 1891 over 2000 men had been employed in the village mines.
The village stretches for about a mile along a main street that was once part of the Mansfield-Matlock turnpike road. There are fine views all round. Westwards you look across to the hills around Ashover with Crich Stand on the horizon. Eastwards, to what is left of Sherwood Forest and a couple miles northwards, Hardwick Hall sits grandly on its own hilltop.
Agriculture has always played an important part in the economy of Tibshelf and also, during the 18th and 19th centuries, many of the villagers were employed in the framework knitting of cotton hose in their own homes, and the noise of the frames could be heard throughout the village. A few new industries have sprung up recently varying from the manufacture of textiles to aluminium extrusions.
Throughout the centuries, local farms and land belonged to only a handful of families. In 1553 the Tibshelf estate was given to the Crown as a source of revenue for the newly built St Thomas's Hospital in London, and this unusual landlord continued until the arrival of the NHS in 1946. All the properties were then sold off, mainly to sitting tennants.
In recent years British Coal and the local council have co-operated in reclaiming the old colliery spoil heaps and unused railway land, creating a network of footpaths and country parkland between Tibshelf and neighbouring villages.
There has been considerable housing development in recent years to serve the needs of the nearby cities of Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield but a friendly village atmosphere has been preserved. Tibshelf has many modern facilities including schools for children up to the age of 16, health centres, shops, old peoples clubs, youth centres, 2 methodist chapels and a church.
The church of St John the Baptist has been well restored over the centuries but it still retains an impressive 14th century tower. It use to look over a mining scenery, but nomore.