Vestiges of centuries as an "Open Field" village are apparent when approaching Eakring from either east or west,
where two of the three large fields are easily identified. It was only in the Second World War that the last remaining
strips in these fields finally disappeared from use.
At the same time a new addition to the village scene was the arrival of the "Nodding Donkeys", when oil was discovered
under the village just before the outbreak of war. Extraction of oil at this crucial time was speeded up with the help of a group of Oklahoma oilmen, whose visit in wartime was kept a closely guarded secret. Oil production ceased in the parish in 1966, but a small oilfield museum remains in Duke's Wood on the Kirklington side of the village, now a wildlife reserve and a site of earlier intensive oil extraction.
Just to the west of the village, along a farmer's track and the Robin Hood Way, may be found Mompesson's Cross at Pulpit Ash. This marks the spot where, in the early 1670s, William Mompesson, the newly arrived rector, preached in the open air to his flock. He had come from the earlier plague-sticken village of Eyam in the Peak District, where he had witnessed a decimation of the population that included the loss of his wife. Credited with having prevented the spread of the infection to neighbouring villages and with tending to his afflicted congregation, he has ever since been considered the "Hero of the Plague". During the epidemic he abandoned the church and preached in an open area in an attempt to avoid the spread of infection. The traditional explanation for his similar action on arrival in Eakring, is that his new parishioners feared that he still carried the plague and refused to allow him access to the church. Whatever the real reason, there is no doubt that he used an open-air pulpit at that spot for a time. He rests beneath the little parish church.
The conservation village of Eakring retains much of its character of earlier days, still predominantly agricultural, but with a few small businesses sheltering in sympathetically converted farm buildings. The Training Centre of National Grid Transco now occupies the site of the first discovered oil well
and that industry's subsequent centre of operations.
(Text supplied by Mr. Derek Walker)
History of St. Andrew's Church - Click here
History, Directory and Gazetteer of the County, and of the Town and County of the Town of
Nottingham, 1844 - Click here