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The Oakes family built and lived at Riddings House which was surrounded by a substantial park and contained a model farm. (Riddings Park surrounds the back of the house). The Oakes family dominated the village owning not only the ironworks but several local collieries. They collaborated with the Butterley Company in establishing the Riddings and District Gas Company in 1888 and founded other companies which manufactured coal by products such as tar and sulphuric acid. They also used the clays in the local coal measures to make bricks and spun pipes. James Oakes was one of the instigators of the railway built along the Erewash valley to supersede the canal. The Oakes family legacy has left a substantial estate village. They contributed to the establishment of the parish church of St James in 1833 and the National School, now junior school of 1845.