The Church Building
The first part of St Paul’s church was built during 1790-1791 and was officially consecrated on the 9th of July 1791. There had been a chapel on the same site, but it had fallen into disrepair and the building was being used by a blacksmith. In fact, it is thought that the painting by the well-known artist Joseph Wright entitled “The Blacksmith’s Shop” is based on what he found on a visit to Little Eaton in 1771. In the 1780s serious discussions were started among the community (which at that time numbered around 250) about building a church, and it was decided appeal for public subscriptions. A small rectangular church was built, covering just the nave of the present building, and without a tower. The altar was situated where there is now a step up into the chancel, in front of a curved apse. The round window high up at the back of the church was included to give light to the gallery above the door where the choir and musicians sat.