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". 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.
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.
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.
If anybody would like to expand the Village Sign Series, please do. I would ask that you let Smokeypugs know first at www.villagesignseries.co.uk so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.