Eastwood and the surrounding district



Eastwood is a town of some twenty thousand inhabitants, in Nottinghamshire, Central England. It was formerly a coal mining town, although the collieries have now all closed. It has it's own distinct dialect and lies about ten miles north west of Nottingham, on the River Erewash, and is in the borough of Broxtowe. Eastwood has a long history dating back to saxon times or before and originally appears in the Domesday Book, where it was referred to as Estwic. At that time it was a small Saxon  settlement and it did not begin to become an important town until the eighteenth century with the rise of the coal industry and the developement of the rail and  canal network. In 1787 Eastwood was a tiny village with only 28 inhabited houses. In 1801 there were 735 inhabitants and   by 1880 this had increased to 4,500. For a more detailed background, please see my history page.

Eastwood is currently undergoing a major renovation, called the Phoenix Project which involves a facelift for the town centre and the renewal of industry in the surrounding area through provision of industrial startup premises, grants and training, together with the planting of a community forest. Also involved is the restoration of Durban House, previously the offices of Barber and Walker, the colliery owners in the early part of the century and sadly having fallen into disrepair over recent years. This is now undergoing major renovation to be used as an exhibition, training and heritage centre

Eastwood is the birthplace of the writer and poet D H Lawrence, and many of his novels are set in the town and surrounding district. His birthplace on Victoria Street is now maintained as a museum. Surprisingly enough, this has generated what is now a large tourist industry in Eastwood, with many visitors fron the USA and Japan. There is a tourist trail, in the form of a blue line painted along the pavements and footpaths, which visits all of Lawrence's residences, schools and various settings from the books.

D H Lawrence's birthplace at 8a Victoria Street

Visit the D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum

More Photographs of Eastwood - Follow the D H Lawrence Blue Line Trail

Near to the birthplace, on Scargill Walk, is Eastwood Craft Centre with it's courtyard and various workshops.


Views of the town centre. The market is held on Thursday and Fridays weekly, on the 'Hollies'

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St Mary's Church, on Church Street, looking toward the junction with Nottingham Road

The church was founded in the 13th Century, and this is the fourth church to stand on this site. The previous church, which was built in 1858, was destroyed by fire in 1963 and only the tower remains of the original building, the rest has been replaced by a new modern structure, which was completed in 1967. The tower contains a peal of eight bells, which are rung every Sunday.

Church Street was formerly known as Brookhill Leys Lane and was probably the location of the original Saxon settlement in Eastwood


Eastwood Library, on Nottingham Road

Eastwood Library stands on Wellington Place and opened in 1975. As well as the usual facilities offered by a library, there are many exhibits relating to D H Lawrence. The library houses the Hopkin Collection of letters and writings as well as an interesting collection of reference books about Lawrence's life and works. The Phoenix Headstone from Lawrence's grave in Vence, France, is on display along with the original desk used by him in his first job as a clerk in J H Haywood's factory in Nottingham. There is a sculpture outside the main entrance depicting the mining area which influenced his writings.


The Sun Inn is a pub / hotel dating back to 1750 which stands at the crossroads on the approach to Eastwood

It is historically significant as the birthplace of the Midland Railway in 1832, when a meeting took place on the premises of local colliery owners, resulting in an agreement to build the railway, which served Nottingham, Derby and Leicester and resulted in the railway service to Eastwood. Local colliery owners contributed £32,000 towards the development of the railway. The first local passenger line ran between Deby and Nottingham and was finished in 1839.

The meeting at the pub is commemorated on a plaque near the main entrance

The Sun also figured in the Pentrich Revolotion as a drinking place for the revolutionaries marching on Nottingham


Durban House, at the bottom of Mansfield Road, was formerly the offices for Barber, Walker and Co., owners of the collieries in Eastwood.

The building fell into disrepair after many years of standing empty, until it was renovated as part of the Eastwood Phoenix Project in 1997. It is now an exhibition and heritage centre and also has a restaurant.


The War Memorial stands at the top of Plumtree Way, on the approach to the town from the east.

It commemorates those fallen in the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 wars.


The surrounding district is rural with farmland and includes includes Newthorpe, Moorgreen and Greasley. Below is a picture of Greasley Church which dates from the thirteenth century. Parts of the church were rebuilt between 1881-86.

 

Greasley is mentioned in the Domesday Book, as a manor house and farm. The manor house was fortified in the hundred years war and became Greasley Castle, the ruins of which are now to be found next to the church and illustrated in the photograph below, the grass covered fortifications standing in front of Greasley Castle Farm. the oldest part is the chancel, which is thought to be a remnant of the original church. The church tower is 15th century, but was largely rebuilt in the 19th century. The church is referred to as Minton Church or Greymede Church in D H Lawrence's novels. Benjamin Drawater, ship's doctor to Captain Cook, is buried in the cemetry. On the other side of the church, at the side of the church hall, is Mintons Tea Room, which serves light meals and snacks

Ruins of Greasley Castle

In the fourteenth century the Lord of the manor was Nicholas De Canteloupe. In the year 1338 Nicholas was granted permission by the King to fortify the manor house and the work was completed in 1340. The earthworks constructed on the eastern and southern sides are most of what remains today, any remaining structures have been incorporated into the farm buildings. Internally there are still remains of the arched doorway and a window.

Nicholas also applied for permission to build a monastry and as a result Beauvale Priory was built. There is said to be an underground passage connecting the Castle to the Priory, a mile away, as an escape route for the monks in times of persecution.

The Castle was later owned by Lord Arthur Capel, a staunch royalist in the time of the civil war. The castle was taken by Oliver Cromwell's roundhead soldiers and Lord Capel was imprisoned and later executed at Westminster in 1649. It is likely that the castle was destroyed at this time and the remains used for local building.


Moorgreen Reservoir lies close to Greasley Church and the site of the former Moorgreen Colliery and is an area of great beauty. It was constructed at the end of the 18th century to supply water to the Nottingham Canal.

 

The reservoir is still almost as D H Lawrence would have known it and it makes an appearance in several of his books, including 'Women in Love' ( Willey Water ) and 'Sons and Lovers' ( Nethermere )


Beauvale Priory was founded in 1343 by Nicholas de Canteloupe, Lord of Greasley. It was formerly known as the 'Priory of Bella Vallis' and held twelve monks of the Carthusian order. There was said to be an underground escape passage to Greasley Castle. The Priory lasted two hundred years befor surrendering to King Henry VIII in 1540 at the time of the dissolution of the monastries. This was the time of the 'Beauvale Martyrs' when the Prior and former Prior refused to recognise the King as supreme head of the church and were imprisoned in the Tower of London and later executed

The Priory was reduced to ruins, only two sections of wall remain, forming part of a farm. This was the Abbey referred to in D H Lawrence's book, 'The White Peacock'


High Park Woods lies between Moorgreen Reservoir and Hucknall

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The above photograph was taken at the onset of Autumn. this is the location of the gamekeeper's hut and Robin Hood's Well


Links in and around Eastwood


Picture Gallery of Old Eastwood | Eastwood Interactive Map | A Brief History | Eastwood Phoenix Project | Eastwood and D H Lawrence | D H Lawrence Birthplace | Eastwood and it's Collieries | Eastwoods Canals and Rivers | Eastwood Pubs | Eastwood St Marys Church | Nearby Towns | Newthorpe Baptist Church | Eastwood Comprehensive School | Eastwood Town Football Club | Joe's Eastwood Town FC Site | Virtual Eastwood | Lawrencetown | Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser | Eastwood Phoenix Project - Browtowe BC Site | Durban House | Interactive Map of West Nottinghamshire | About Nottingham | Aerial View of Nottingham


This is an unofficial page maintained by Nigel Harrison. Whilst you are visiting Eastwood, why not say Ey Up! Either email me or take the time to sign the visitors book. I would especially like to hear from other residents of the district or anyone from overseas who is interested in our town

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You are visitor number since the 8th June 1997 - It is my intention to regularly change or rotate the photographs on display so hopefully there will always be new material to view. Please visit Eastwood again soon.

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