Created by Barry Thompson © 2011-2017 Aston on Trent on Trent Local History Group, all rights reserved
Aston on Trent History – The Establishment of the Holden Estate Village - Part 1
Samuel Holden’s son Robert (1676 – 1746) was a highly successful lawyer and considerably
extended his patrimony (after initially selling much of what he owned in Weston). Most of his
purchases were outside Aston on Trent in Foremark, Long Eaton, Sawley and Little Wilne, Great
Wilne and Shardlow, but he bought two farms in Aston on Trent (Both of them formerly part of
the Weston property). His trustees added another farm in 1747 and 23 acres in 1767, both in
Aston, besides buying land in Leicestershire. In 1797 when Roberts Grandson, the Reverend
Charles Edward Holden was in possession of the estate, it consisted of 564 acres in Aston, in
addition top property elsewhere.
The most spectacular growth of any Aston on Trent estate in the eighteenth century, however,
was the Rectors glebe. In the seventeenth century (and probably for long before) it consisted
of 3½ yardlands in Aston on Trent and a few small closes in Aston on Trent and Shardlow, the
acreage of which is difficult to determine, but was probably about 90 acres in all. When Aston
on Trent moor was enclosed in 1757, 50 acres was allotted to the Rector, partly as his
proportion for 3½ yardlands and partly in lieu of great tithes payable within the moor. The
1756 globe Terrier shows that the Rector had in addition 241 acres in Ashfield and 67 acres in
Nether field (besides 100 acres in Shardlow and Great Wilne), all of which had been allotted to
him at the enclosure of the common fields of tithes. In 1822-3, the globe was said to consist of
450 acres (of which 350 acres must have been in Aston) and the Rectors income was claimed to
Otherwise, the eighteenth century seems to have been an era of stability in the pattern of land ownership. The surnames of the chief free elders
in the township who entered into an agreement in 1747, were nearly the same as the surnames of the greater owners as set out in the 1763
enclosure award, whilst the 1763 names reappear in the 1780 land tax assessment. At the enclosure of the open fields, meadows, pastures etc.,
said to contain 14,520 acres, there were 41 proprietors (owners) of land, held estates valued at over 400s (£20). The Holden name was
temporarily missing from this list. Robert Holden’s second heir was his daughter Mary, wife of James Shuttleworth whose son the Reverend
Charles Shuttleworth succeeded to the estate in 1791 having changed his name to Holden. The Shuttleworth estate was by far the largest
(8,112s) nearly a third of the 25,915s, total for the township. The Rectors came next at 4,912s; about three times the size of any other holding.
The land tax assessment of 1780 assessed 40 proprietors for tax, 14 of them for £1 and over, and these 14 correspond exactly with those whose
properties were valued at over 400s., in the enclosure award, except that the smallest holding of this group broke up between 1763 and 1780.
By 1808, five of these names had gone to be replaced by five others (amongst them James Sutton esq.) and there had been some shuffling of
holdings, but it was after this date that substantial changes occurred.