Eckington is situated seven miles north of
Chesterfield, in north-east Derbyshire. The name Eckington is of Saxon origin, meaning the
township of Ecca.
In medieval times it was a small but important settlement, which was
later engulfed by development when coal deposits were extensively
worked throughout the area.
It is a long sprawling village, with typical
picture postcard scenes of its manor houses and cottages built of the local
Derbyshire stone. The main street through the village is just over a mile in
length. There are many public houses, some dating back many years
The main occupations were always farming and mining, but since the closing
of the local pits,
several light industries have become established and a lot of farming land
has been lost to building development. In 1998, a regeneration project was launched to combat the effects of mine closures and out of town retail developments.
The parish church of St Peter and St Paul dates from the year 1100 and
is of exceptional architectural interest, still retaining the original Norman
doorway. In a field at the back of the church, near the river Moss stands
the Priest s Well where the parish priest used to draw water for the needs
of the church. Up to the 1930s gipsies used the field as a winter camp
drawing water from the well for all their needs. Close to the church is the
rectory, a late Georgian house with Venetian windows.
Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell live at Renishaw Hall, which is surrounded by parkland and a golf course on the outskirts of Eckington, a mile from the town centre.
Renishaw Hall has been the family home of the Sitwell family for nearly 400
years and has become famous through the writing of Edith, Osbert and
Sacheverell Sitwell father of the present owner. A novel feature at the
hall is the vineyard begun in 1972.
A market is held each Friday on pedestrianised Market Street adding
life and colour to the centre of the village. The Civic Centre, also on
Market Street, is widely used for many different functions and activities
and stands beside the swimming pool and library .
There are many pathways for people to enjoy to the surrounding
villages and through the wooded valley of the river Moss, a tributary of
the Pother This area, now rich in wildlife, was once a centre of industry,
relics ot which can still be seen today.
A town trail takes in the parish church, a cruck barn which part dates to the 16th-century and Coldwell’s Cottage the last remaining thatched cottage in Eckington.