Eaton (also called "Idleton")

"EATON, a parish in East Retford district, Notts; on the river Idle and the Great Northern railway, 2 miles SSE of East Retford. Post town, Retford. Acres, 1, 540. Real property, £1, 833. Pop., 184. Houses, 28. The property is divided among a few. Ten manors were here before the Conquest. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £80. Patron, the Bishop of Manchester. The church is old but good.
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]


Archives & Libraries

The Library at East Retford will prove useful in your research.



Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of the churchyard cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2016



  • The parish was in the East Retford sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 851
1861 R.G. 9 / 2416
1871 R.G. 10 / 3455
1881 R.G. 11 / 3303
1891 R.G. 12 / 2641

Church History

  • No church is mentioned at Eaton in the 1086 Domesday Book.
  • A Norman church stood here, apparently built during the 12th century.
  • We know that a church stood here in 1291.
  • A religious census was conducted in 1676 and reported that there were two "dissenters" in the village. Probably Roman Catholics.
  • The Norman church was pulled down and the stone used to build a new church in 1857-8.
  • The new Anglican parish church was dedicated to All Saints in August, 1858.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1860.
  • The ecclesiastical parish of Eaton was joined with that of Gamston in 1884 (because each was too small to support a vicar on its own).
  • The church was restored in 1949 and the church rededicated.
  • A sever storm in 1998 damaged the church, but funds were available to make repairs.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of All Saints Church on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2010.
  • Kate JEWELL has a photograph of the Campanile turret added to the church roof on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2010.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1682.
  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) includes records from this parish for the period 1757-1843.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Worksop.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the East Retford sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Eaton is a small village and a parish of about 1,526 acres. It lies 2 miles south of East Retford, 18 miles north of Newark-on-Trent and 140 miles north of London. It stands just east of the River Idle.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the arterial road south out of Retford for two miles.
  • Roger GEACH has a photograph of Eaton village on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2008.
You can see pictures of Eaton which are provided by:



From WHITE's 1853 History, Directory and Gazetteer of Nottingham:

EATON, or IDLETON, is a small village and parish, on both sides of the Idle, connected by a brick bridge, 2 miles S. of Retford. It was formerly a place of some consequence, for before the Norman Conquest, we find " here were ten manors and ten thanes, each thane having a hall;” at the survey, however, they were reduced to one manor, and given to Roger de Busli. Henry Bridgeman Simpson, Esq., is lord of the manor, and owner of the parish, which was purchased about 1785, of Earl Fitzwilliam. It comprises 158 inhabitants, and about 1407 acres of land, part of which was not enclosed till 1810.
The church is a small fabric, with turret and be& and the living is a vicarage, valued in the King’s books as £:4, 13s. 4d., now at £63. The Rev. John Twells, is the incumbent, and the Prebendary of Eaton, in Southwell Collegiate Church, is the patron and appropriator.
A small school was built about 18 years ago, Mrs. Simpson pays for 8 children, and the rest pay one penny weekly till they are 5 years old, and threepence per week after.
Eaton Hall is a pleasant mansion, which was thoroughly repaired and greatly enlarged in 1831, and is now the seat of William Frederick Baring, Esq.
  • Baring, Wm. Fdk. Esq., Eaton Hall
  • Harrison, George, butcher
  • Hindley, Richard, butcher
  • Jackson, Richard, blacksmith
  • Swallow, Mary, schoolmistress
  •    Farmers
  • Cooper, Joseph
  • Curtis, Samuel
  • Jackson, Thomas
  • Knight, John



Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Eaton has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • Eaton Hall was repaired and greatly enlarged in 1831.
  • Eaton Hall was the residence of the BRIDGEMAN-SIMPSON family in recent centuries.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK714780 (Lat/Lon: 53.294159, -0.930261), Eaton which are provided by:


Military History

B. HILTON has a photograph of the World War II Firing Range , which is closer to Eaton than it is to Gamston, on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005. It was used by men from surrounding towns.

There is no War Memorial in the church.


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish of Nottingham county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the South Clay division of the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • The local Parish Council is a joint venture of Gamston, West Drayton and Eaton Parishes. You may contact that parish council regarding civic or political matters, but do NOT ask them to do family history searches for you. I note that the website shown on that web page does not appear to be functional.
  • District governance is provided the Bassetlaw District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Retford petty session hearings held in West Retford.
  • The Common Land was not enclosed here until 1810.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the East Retford Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1801 219
1821 215
1841 189
1851 158
1861 184
1871 131
1881 127
1891 138
1901 144
1911 157
1921 161
1931 152


  • A Parochial School was built here around 1835.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Old School on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2014. This has been converted to a residence.