Aston Hall by Bob Houghton

Photo of Brian Harding

Photo of Brian Harding

Aston Hall is the most perfect example of a 17th centaury domestic house. The architecture is unspoilt, the great Jacobean House still stands as when it was built by Sir Thomas Holte, who was a staunch royalist. It does not take much imagination to picture it as it was when he first built it. Work started in 1618 and he took up residence in 1631 but was not completed until 1635. In 1642 he entertained King Charles 1

Because of his loyalty to the King in 1643 The Parliamentarians took umbrage to his Royal patronage and besieged this fine building Sir Thomas made pleas to the Governor of Dudley Castle for help, he in turn sent a motley crew of forty musketeers who proved to be poorly trained and ill-equipped and did not have the stomach for a lengthy fight and after only three days packed their bags and surrendered.

Aston Hall Interior

The marks of the heavy canons can still be seen up on the walls and the smashed carving on the balusters of the Great Staircase. The City Museum are proud of their jewel in the crown and display it for all to see and with out fear of contradiction it is surely in keeping with its truly palatial proportions as when he entertained Kings and Heads of State. Its balustrade staircase sweeps right up to a second story of the house. The panelled long gallery is one of the best examples in the country. The City museums have splendidly refurnished it with the period furniture and paintings of the 17th century in celebration at the time it was encompassed by a park 2,000 acres where herds of deer grazed especially for hunting.

Aston Hall

The park though today, perhaps a little incongruously, in its settings it is now a lot smaller but it is, as its always been, a park for children to romp and play games and for our elders to walk and enjoy the still spacious grounds even so it still remains an idyllic spot to say that it is in the heart of an industrial and heavy populated area of hundreds of dwellings. Also baring in mind it is flanked by the Aston expressway and Aston Villa Football Club.