Orston is an English village and civil parish in the Rushcliffe borough of Nottinghamshire, 15 miles (24 km) east of Nottingham. It borders on the parishes of Scarrington, Thoroton, Flawborough, Bottesford and Elton on the Hill. The population at the time of the 2011 census was 454.[1]

Saint Mary's Church, orston - geograph.org.uk - 81706.jpg
St Mary's Church, Orston
Orston is located in Nottinghamshire
Location within Nottinghamshire
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNG13
Dialling code01949
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°57′N 0°52′W / 52.950°N 0.867°W / 52.950; -0.867


Orston has a parish council and belongs under Rushcliffe Borough Council. Since December 1919, the member of Parliament for the Rushcliffe constituency, to which Orston belongs, is the Conservative Ruth Edwards.[2]


The place-name Orston seems to contain an Old English personal name, Osica, with -ingtūn (Old English), a settlement called after, or connected with..., so probably, "farm/settlement connected with Osica".[3] Some early spellings are Oschintone in 1086 (the Domesday Book); Orskinton, 1242; Orston, 1284 and Horston in 1428. It lay in Bingham Wapentake (hundred) until such units were abolished under the Local Government Act 1894.

The population of Orston was 351 in 1801, 391 in 1821, and 439 in 1831.[4] More detail on the history of the village and the sources for it appears on the village website.[5] There is a short description of the village in 1870–72 in John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales.[6]

Orston farming showed an unusual variant of the open-field system, with four fields instead of three. An enclosure act was passed in 1793. A detailed survey of Orston's present appearance and recent history as a conservation area was made in 2010.[7]

Gypsum, brickworks and spaEdit

There are still gypsum quarries in the area. Indeed Orston in earlier centuries was once primarily a mining village, and probably the most important source of gypsum in the East Midlands. According to the Nottinghamshire volume of the Victoria History of the Countries of England, the gypsum at Orston was the "finest in the Kingdom". The remains of several brickworks have also been identified. Mining subsidence has been a problem in some parts of the village, affecting also the church. A full account of the quarrying and mining in the village has appeared.[8]

The village had a brief 18th-century career as a medicinal spring for "hydrochondriac melancholy, scurvy, want of appetite, indigestion, stoppage of urine, obstruction of the bowels, ulcers in the lungs, and for spitting of blood", but there does not appear to have been appreciable commercial development of the spring.[9]


Churches: The village contains St Mary's Anglican Church and Orston Methodist Church,[5] St Mary's being a Grade I Listed Building[10] that forms part of the Cranmer group of parishes, with St Thomas's, Aslockton, St Mary and All Saints, Hawksworth, St John of Beverley, Scarrington, St Helena's, Thoroton and St John of Beverley, Whatton.[11] Services are held about twice a month.[12] The North Aisle displays a restored military drum beaten at the Battle of Waterloo.[13]

The Methodist church is part of the Grantham and Vale of Belvoir Circuit. Services are held on alternate Sunday mornings.[14]

The eight other listed buildings in the village are all Grade II.[15] Among them is Orston Hall (once Orston Rectory) by the architect Charles Baily.[16]

School: Operating in premises built in 1939, Orston Primary School had 158 pupils aged between four and eleven years old in 2018, equally divided between boys and girls. Its excellent 2013 performance figures had eased slightly in most subjects.[17] The 2010 Ofsted report on the school rated it outstanding in all important respects.[18][19]

Catering: The village pub, the Durham Ox,[20] doubles as a traditional restaurant from Tuesday to Sunday.[5][21] There is also a delicatessen and café called The Limehaus, occupying the former post office.[22]

Leisure: There are various sports teams, clubs and institutes active in the village.[5] Many indoor events and meetings are held at the Village Hall. There is a clay shooting ground in Bottesford Lane.[23]

Transport: Elton and Orston railway station on the outskirts of the village provides only a skeleton service of one train in each direction per day. The nearest stations with regular services to Nottingham, Grantham and beyond are Bottesford (2.4 miles, 4 km) and Aslockton (2.3 miles, 3.7 km). There are various weekday, daytime bus services to Nottingham, Bingham and nearby villages.[5] The A52 trunk road between Nottingham and Grantham passes two miles south of the village. It is reached via Elton on the Hill or in a south-easterly direction via Bottesford. Orston also lies on National Cycle Route 15.

Environment: The River Smite, which flows through Orston, is 20 miles long. It has its source at Holwell, Leicestershire, and joins the River Devon at Shelton. Orston Millennium Green, created for 2001 beside the River Smite on donated land, has a mown area for recreation and other sections with various nature and wildlife preservation areas, surrounded by a circular footpath.[5]

Famous peopleEdit

In birth order

Coordinates: 52°57′N 0°52′W / 52.950°N 0.867°W / 52.950; -0.867

External sourcesEdit


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  2. ^ Rushcliffe result. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  3. ^ J. Gover, A. Mawer and F. M. Stenton (eds), Place Names of Nottinghamshire (Cambridge, 1940), p. 227; A. D. Mills, Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford, 2002), p. 262; E. Ekwall, Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford, 1960), p. 351.
  4. ^ William White: History, Gazetteer and Directory of Nottinghamshire... (Sheffield, 1832), p. 479. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Orston Village site Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  6. ^ A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  7. ^ Rushcliffe Borough Council. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  8. ^ Bulletin of the Peak District Mines and Historical Society 11/4, Winter 1991: Retrieved 20 November 2014
  9. ^ Our Nottinghamshire. The mineral springs and spas of Nottinghamshire Retrieved 20 November 2014. This includes a photograph of the remains of the well head.
  10. ^ British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  11. ^ Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  12. ^ A Church Near You Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  13. ^ Depicted here among several other good photographs of the village and church: Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  14. ^ Circuit website Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  15. ^ British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  16. ^ Rushcliffe Borough Council: Orston Conservation Area Appraisal, June 2010, p. 13 Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  17. ^ Ofsted School Data Dashboard Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  18. ^ Ofsted. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  19. ^ Ratings. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  20. ^ The Durham Ox is a relatively common pub name in the East Midlands, derived from a famously large Shorthorn bullock of the early 19th century.
  21. ^ Durham Ox Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  22. ^ The Limehaus. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  23. ^ Orston Shooting Ground. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  24. ^ Old Nottinghamshire, ed. J. P. Briscoe (London: British Library Historical Print Editions, 2011 [1881], print on demand), pp. 41–42.