Many of the places in Eastwood which Lawrence knew and wrote about, especially the countryside, have changed very little. Much of the industrial development in Eastwood began in the last century when it was a thriving mining town. Population 11,505
Today much is being done by the Borough Council and its partners to bring fresh life into the town through an eleven million pound four year regeneration project which was completed in March 2001.
The birthplace of D H Lawrence is only a few yards away from the main road and is a museum with gift shop attracting many tourists each year.
"I was born nearly forty-four year ago, in Eastwood, a mining village of some three thousand souls about eight miles from Nottingham, and one mile from the small stream, the Erewash, which divides Nottinghamshire from Derbyshire. It is hilly country, looking west to Crich and towards Matlock, sixteen miles away and east and northeast towards Mansfield and the Sherwood Forest district. To me it seemed, and still seems an extremely beautiful countryside, just between the red sandstone and oak trees of Nottingham and the cold limestone, the ash trees, the stone fences of Derbyshire" so wrote D H Lawrence in 1929 a year before his death.
Places of Interest
- The Buildings is an area of about 300 terraced miners' houses built 140 years ago. This monument to its mining heritage was nearly demolished until the Council intervened. 92 were renovated and 96 new homes were built in a complementary style. The scheme won an EEC 'habitat' award in 1977 and in 1980 was used to illustrate the European Community's Urban Renaissance competition.
- Colliers Wood is created on the site of the former Moorgreen Colliery in the north of the Borough, is a community woodland which forms part of the Greenwood Community Forest in Nottinghamshire. The wood has been designed to restore the woodlands and fields which existed before the mine was developed. The woodland and the adjoining industrial land were created through a restoration scheme between 1996-1997. The site was seeded with wild grasses and flowers. Hedgerows and thousands of trees were planted and two ponds created are becoming valuable habitats for wildlife. An extensive footpath network has been created using reclaimed shale from the site.
- Lawrence Craft Workshops
- The Library, which was opened in June 1975, houses a special study room containing an extensive collection of books by and about D H Lawrence. Also on view is Lawrence's desk and headstone from his grave in Vence, France.
- The Sun Inn has figured prominently in the town's history and some parts were built in the late 18th century. In 1805 the local court was held under the Lord of the Manor, John Plumptre. In 1817 the Pentrich Revolutionaries marched to take Nottingham in protest at workers' living conditions and they rested in the Sun Inn. As they left they were overpowered and dispersed. The coalmaster used the Inn for meetings and at one such gathering on 4th October 1832 the construction of the Midland Counties Railway was agreed.
- St Mary's Parish Church was replaced by a brick building in 1764 although some parts date back to 1250. The church was enlarged in 1826 before being replaced in 1858 as the town expanded. The building was nearly all destroyed by fire in 1963. Only the tower remained and the present building was added in 1967
- Benjamin Drawater(Died in 1815) sailed with the great circumnavigator, Captain James Cook on the "Revolution" from 1772 to 1775. He served as a ship surgeon until he left the navy in 1783 and came to Eastwood to practice medicine. He moved to Mansfield after 16 years where he died in 1815. His tombstone is in Greasley Churchyard.
- David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930) by far the most famous of Eastwood's sons. The poet novelist was born at 8a Victoria Street and his family occupied several houses in the town over the years. Lawrence began his education at Beauvale Boys' School, Hill Top. Lawrence drew extensively on his own background for the settings of many of his works, often altering very slightly, the names of local places and people. Many of the locations referred to can be seen from Eastwood Library - the site of the Moorgreen Colliery, High Park Wood, Coney Grey are a few examples. Although his feelings towards England were often bitter, the memory of the landscapes of his childhood and youth remained a powerful influence. Lawrence died in Vence, France in 1930 after many years travelling abroad.
- William Alexander Pickering (1840-1907) became an important figure in the history of the Far East. In 1879 he was appointed the first Protector of the Chinese Straits Settlement. He was instrumental in suppressing the Tongs, the criminal Chinese secret society. He died in Italy in 1907.
- Thomas Barber And Thomas Walker together had a great impact on Eastwood and surrounding areas. Barber was born at Greasley Castle Farm and Walker at Bilborough. They founded Barber Walker and Company and were the most active coalmasters in Eastwood. The company remained active until the Coal Industry was nationalised in 1947. They were responsible for the building of the Nottingham Canal and the extension of the Midland Railway.
Page Last Updated: 29/04/2008