Little Eaton - A Queen And Two Saints
w/e 11 January 2004
Little Eaton is a small place on the northern
outskirts of Derby but it contains much of historical interest.
On this fleeting visit there is only time to view a little of
the village - a good excuse to revisit at a later date for another
The A38 bypasses the village and now takes most of the heavy
traffic but the vehicles parked outside the Queens Head were
engaged in the "school run" picking up children from
the Primary School opposite. The Queens Head was formerly known
as the Delvers Inn, after the "delvers" who worked
in the local quarries, and is a listed gritstone building dating
The low stone built building next to the pub is a blacksmith's
shop and is reputed to be over 300 years old. Apparently it is
still in use as a blacksmith's although on this particular afternoon
all of the doors and shutters were closed.
Towards the western side of the village, a large piece of open
land was donated by Thomas Bates in 1902 and is now called St
Peter's Park. Before levelling to create cricket and football
pitches for the community, the land showed evidence of ridge
and furrow farming. The sports pavilion in the centre of this
image was built in 1966 using funds raised by the villagers.
Overlooking St Peter's Park is St Paul's Church. This was built
in 1791, using money raised by voluntary subscription, on the
site of an earlier chapel that was in ruins by 1760, the remains
of the chapel for a while being used as a blacksmith's shop.
The church has been enlarged several times and the Lych Gate
was erected as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the
First World War. Plaques inside the Lych Gate now record the
names of those who perished in both World Wars.
A little further up the lane beyond St Paul's and still overlooking
the park is the Church Hall. Also known as the Parish Rooms,
this building of 1841 was originally the National School, Little
Eaton's first school. The building is now used on a regular basis
by many community groups in the village.
Finally on this visit we can take a look at the granite obelisk
just inside St Peter's Park (note the Parish Rooms behind). This
commemorates the coronation of King Edward VII and the teachers
of the National School. The two plaques visible on the base of
the obelisk also mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (02
June 1953), the Golden Jubilee of the park (13 June 1953) and
the Centenary of the park (June 2003).