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ASTON HALL

History of Aston Hall

There is no mystery or uncertainty about the date of construction of Aston Hall nor about its builder. Above the entrance to the house the inscription reveals all: it was a local squire, Sir Thomas Holte, who built it between the years1618 and 1635. This was, in fact, one of the last Jacobean buildings to be built in England.

 

A close-up view of the entrance to Aston Hall, Birmingham
A close-up view of the entrance to Aston Hall

As the Holte family supported the Royalist cause during the Civil War their property suffered some damage signs of which are still visible. King Charles I came to Aston Hall in 1642, at the beginning of the Civil War, and it was later attacked by Parliamentarian troops.

The Holte estate was sold in 1817 and leased to the eldest son of James Watt. After his death in 1848 the property was sold to the Corporation of Birmingham and its interior was refurbished towards the end of the twentieth century but has maintained its essentially Jacobean character seen especially in its moulded plasterwork.

The plans for Aston Hall were drawn up by the architect John Thorpe. It is a red brick building built in the characteristic "half H" shape with a hall range and two projecting wings. On each side of the courtyard there are two lodges connected to the house by low walls. What immediately strikes the visitor as he approaches the building, however, are the ogee-capped towers, chimneys and curved gables.

 

Aston Hall, Birmingham
The front of the building showing its "half H-shape and the central position of entrance

The central position of the main entrance was not part of the original plans but was altered shortly after the Civil War.

 


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latest update 9/04/04