26 October 2017
Created by Barry Thompson © 2011-2017 Aston on Trent on Trent Local History Group, all rights reserved
Aston on Trent - The Big Houses - Part 2 - The Rectories Coincidental with the death of Thomas Holden in 1726 we learn of the building of a new Rectory. The evidence so far obtained regarding this building is an artistic impression, dated 1839, of the west of the parish church, this view showing a substantial Georgian-like dwelling to the north of the church. There is also a large scale map, drawn sometime between 1796 and 1830, which also shows a large rectangular building clearly marked as the Rectory. It is not yet known how long the Georgian Rectory survived, but during the reign of Queen Victoria a replacement Rectory was built on the same site. From the examination of photographs of the Victorian Rectory there is a suggestion that the Georgian building may have been extended by adding wings to the north and south sides. Whether or not this is a reasonable assumption, the house in question was of substantial proportions, befitting a clergyman who was a member of the Holden family who towards the end of the Victorian era owned approximately two thirds of the parish of Aston on Trent. The life style of the Victorian Rectors can be imagined by a glance at the 1881 Census Return which shows that the Reverend James Shuttleworth Holden was employing seven household servants in addition to other employees engaged in looking after his horses, stables, carriages and gardens. During the twentieth century the Rectory gradually became more accessible to the people of Aston on Trent and was made available for village events and meetings of various village organisations. Its commodious facilities were put to good use during the Second World War as accommodation for members of the Woman’s Land Army and the grounds were occupied by Aston’s Home Guard Platoon for drill and weapons training. Its cellars were used as an air raid shelter for villagers. In 1969 it was considered that the Rectory was no longer fit for purpose. Its general condition had deteriorated beyond cost effective repair and the decision was made to demolish and make way for the building of the Rectory we see today.