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Elston is a small village in Nottinghamshire to the southwest of Newark, and a mile from the A46 Fosse Way. The parish of Elston lies between the rivers Trent and Devon, with "the village itself set amongst trees and farmland less than a mile from the A46. The historic market town of Newark is just five miles to the north, with the cities of Lincoln and Nottingham some eighteen miles north and southwest respectively."[1]

The village lies "very snugly and prettily ensconced in the midst of a pleasing landscape. Nearly opposite each other are the Hall and vicarage, both occupying delightful situations, and built in elegant and stately style. The church has been handsomely restored, and is singularly rich in its memorials of the Darwins. This eminent family appear to have come to Elston from Lincolnshire towards the close of the seventeenth century, the manor being brought into the possession of William Darwin through his marriage with the heiress of Robert Waring of Wilford. William had two sons, and Elston was left to Robert, the younger, in whom the taste for scientific research began to develop."[2]

Elston "currently has about 650 residents in 280 households. A number of new homes have been built within the last twenty years on once open spaces and there continues to be infill development on some of the large gardens."[3]


[edit] History

Elston itself was "founded by the Angles in the 5th Century, and the square shape of the Village is typically Anglo Saxon. The name is derived from a Viking leader Elva, and is cited in the Domesday book as Elvastun. Historic old buildings in and adjacent to the Parish include Elston Hall, All Saints Church, the Old Chapel of Ease on the site of a mediaeval leper hospital, the Methodist Chapel, and Elston Towers, the Victorian mansion of preacher Robert Middleton, now refurbished as a day spa and renamed Eden Hall."[4]

[edit] Elston Hall

Elston Hall was "the home of the Darwin family from 1680 until just after the Second World War, when the estate was sold. Its most famous resident was the savant Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin. Erasmus was the founder of the Lunar Society, which included Robert Boyle, Joseph Priestley and Benjamin Franklin."[5]

[edit] Elston Chapel

Elston Chapel was a separate parish for centuries. "Certain lands and houses within the lordship of Elston, many of them quite detached and isolated pieces of ground, formerly constituted "the Chapelry of Elston in the Parish of East Stoke." For the convenience of the inhabitants of these houses an old stone chapel stands in a grass field at the north-east angle of Elston village."[6] Elston Chapel was "created in 1584 as a parish, possibly using the chapel building of St Leonards Hospital. Later it became a Chapelry to East Stoke. It was transferred to Elston parish in 1872 in a disused state."[7]

Easily missed, this solitary barn-like chapel "stands peacefully in a field north-east of the quiet village of Elston. The most significant external feature is the Norman doorway, with zig-zag decoration nearly a thousand years old. Look out for the graffiti from 1717 on the door jamb. Much of the fabric dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. In the early 19th century it was refitted simply with pine pews and a gallery, but after decades of disuse and decay the chapel was placed in the care of the Trust. Recent work has uncovered several layers of wall paintings, the latest being Georgian biblical texts. A large royal coat of arms is featured on the north wall."[8]

"The building, with its Norman doorway, has been a puzzle but recent convincing research suggests that the hospital of St Leonard, which was sold in 1576, was in this area and the building could have been the hospital chapel."[9]

The Chapel can be accessed via the public footpath running through the field at the end of Old Chapel Lane.

[edit] Elston Mill

Windmills are shown on maps located on the north side of Elston Lane (grid reference SK756487) and the south side of Mill Lane (grid reference SK760477). The latter was a tower windmill, built c. 1844, the tower being bottle-shaped, with an increase in batter at the 3rd floor. Some renovation was carried out by Gash in 1919, with a new sail fitted by Wakes and Lamb of Newark for £74 in 1920. The mill was demolished c. 1940.

[edit] Notes

  1. , Elston Parish Council
  2. , Nottinghamshire: history and archaeology | Brown's History of Nottinghamshire: Staunton and Elston
  3. , Elston Parish Council
  4. , Elston Parish Council
  5. , Elston Parish Council
  6. , W.P.W Phillimore and Thomas M Blagg, 1900
  7. , Nottinghamshire Parish Church Database
  8. ,
  9. , GENUKI: Elston - A Modern Description

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 53°01'N, 0°52'W

(Source: Wikipedia)
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