Thoresby Colliery serves as Edwinstowe's main source of employment. However, since the decline of the British coal industry, tourism is now becoming a major influence on the local economy due to the popularity of the Robin Hood legend and the alleged location of his base at the Major Oak.
There was a post windmill south of the Mansfield Road (grid referenceSK613663) with a small box-style roundhouse. It was driven by 2 common sails and 2 double patent sails.
Edwinstowe derives its name from King Edwin of Northumbria. In 633 CE Edwin was killed in the Battle of Hatfield Chase against King Penda of Mercia near the present day hamlet of Cuckney which is located roughly five miles to the northwest of modern day Edwinstowe. The first government document to make reference to Edwinstowe is the Domesday Book. The document records that there were five households in addition to one priest and his four bordars living in the hamlet as of 1086.