Eckington is situated seven miles north east of Chesterfield and the same distance south east from Sheffield, 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 population is around 11,000 and the parish of Eckington includes the villages of Marsh Lane, Renishaw, Ridgeway, Troway and Eckington.
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.