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Walk 7

One of a series of local walks produced by

Aston on Trent Local History Group

*More detailed route information and other footpath links can be found on OS Explorer Maps 245/259.

If you have mobility issues please check first

Aston on Trent History Walks

Number: 7

(Village Centre History)

-75 miles / 1 km

Approximate time – 45 minutes

NOTE: This walk is accessible to those in wheelchairs or using walking aids

This pack contains a basic map, route directions * and history notes

Aston on Trent History Walks

Number 7: – Village Centre History

Start at the Lychgate dedicated to James Shuttleworth Holden, Rector of this parish from 1869 to 1916 The inscription is on the middle roof beam. From All Saints’ Church (1) follow the path around the church tower leading to steps and Hall Drive. Along the drive you can view Aston Hall (2) (Those who cannot manage the steps should return to the lychgate and onto Shardlow Road )

Turn back and follow the drive to the hall gateway onto Shardlow Road. Crossing carefully turn left. The tall brick building opposite the church is a remnant of Aston Lodge (3)

Continue north on Shardlow Road passing Rectory Gardens on the left and, to the right, Lodge Estate (4)

Three houses along is The Gables, site of Aston’s early meeting room and later Post Office.

Bear right on this pavement passing the Methodist Chapel on the left and The Malt Public House and then Yeoman House (5) The white building opposite was the Smithy and, where No 22 now stands, was Aston’s Lock up (6)

Turn left past the house called The Old Smithy towards The White Hart pub, noting the village sign on The Green, donated by the W.I. and designed by local artist Robin Gibbard.

Turn right into Derby Road passing two 1970’s houses, Nos 32 and 34 standing back off the road. This was the site of The White Cottage, an old estate dwelling with the Aston Hall estate yard behind it. In a few yards you pass The Old School House (7) with the Holden family crest above the door.

Cross the road and return to the village centre passing Long Croft Farm House on the corner of Long Croft.

Passing the White Hart Public House (8) the adjacent (faux) timbered building was the village vehicle repair garage and petrol pump. It was originally the old maltings for the White Hart. The short track beside the building was once called Cow Lane, leading to farm fields at the rear.

Across the road next to the village green is Pump Cottage (9)

Turn the corner by the Post Office onto Weston Road. Glance up at the first three cottages on the right which are three storeys high. Originally housing weavers or frame-knitting cottage industries. The looms were installed on the top storey to gain extra light. A little further on number 16 has a green fire-mark plate to indicate to the fire brigade that the house was insured confirming that the fee would be paid to put the fire out. The fire engine was horse drawn and hand pumped!

Continue along Weston Road and opposite Posey Lane note the old estate cottages, number 38 has a small plaque revealing that it was once a surgery. When you are opposite Hilton Gardens (named in memory of Harold Hilton, Aston School Headmaster from 1961 to 1983), cross the road and, next to Hilton Gardens is Bull’s Yard (10) and then Posey Lane where is sited an old water pump. You will pass Ledmore, behind which was once the garaging for Wells Buses, Aston’s own bus service.

Passing the Village Shop (11), turn right at the end of Weston Road. You will pass Rectory Mews (12) and return to the lychgate

We hope you enjoyed your walk

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Items of Historic Interest – Walk number 7

(1) All Saints’ Parish Church A Grade 1 listed building and outstanding example of a Derbyshire parish church, it displays many architectural styles dating from Norman to Neo Gothic and contains fine stained-glass windows. Having gone through various structural changes including a major, but sensitive, restoration in 1837 the church displays much evidence of the dedicated care it has received over the centuries.

Embedded in the west facing wall of the entrance porch and adjacent to the tower is a Saxon stone. When Christianity arrived in the late seventh century preaching would have been conducted around a stone cross usually erected on elevated ground; this stone is likely to have come from such a cross. An earlier Rector aided its preservation with the installation of a drip stone above.

(2) Aston Hall This Grade II listed building was built in 1735 for Robert Holden (1676-1746) and his wife Elizabeth (nee Burdett). It replaced an earlier Hall which stood on the same site also occupied by the Holdens since purchased by Robert’s grandfather, also Robert (1594-1660), in 1648. The estate remained in the Holden family until 1898 when it was sold to William Dickson Winterbottom. Upon his death in 1924 the estate was purchased by Nottingham Corporation for the establishment of a hospital for the mentally handicapped.

(3) Lodge Mews This building, erected in the early 20th century, is the only remaining structure connected with the former small estate of Aston Lodge. It was a service wing containing stables and grooms living quarters. The tall section of the building contained a large tank at high level which supplied water at a suitable pressure to the house and gardens. The building now contains private apartments. Aston Lodge, built in the late 1730s, was the second most substantial dwelling after The Hall, but fell out of use and was demolished in 1933.

(4) Lodge Estate The houses on this road were built in the 1940s on the site of the former Aston Lodge. A notable feature of the entrance were the ornamental wrought iron gates which would have stood at the present entrance to Lodge Estate and most likely made by Robert Bakewell, one of the foremost ironsmiths of the 18th century, who lived and worked at nearby Melbourne. At the sale of Aston Lodge in 1933 these gates, together with their stone pillars, were purchased by Long Eaton Borough Council for the sum of £33 and can now be seen gracing the entrance to West Park in Long Eaton.

(5) Yeoman House, No.16 The Green This Grade II listed building known locally as Yeoman House is one of Aston’s oldest houses. Built on stone plinth foundations it would originally have been a single storey wood framed house/farmhouse. Rebuilt in the 17th century with brick and having the front elevation decorated diaper style and a date stone 1690 inserted at high level inscribed with the initial’s ‘W’ over ‘CM’, it is very likely that these initials refer to Christopher Wright, yeoman, who was a man in possession of considerable amounts of land in and around Aston.

(6) Village Lock-up Close by No 16 the Green is the probable site of the village lock-up or round-house. Constructed in 1841 it was where the unruly and drunkards of the village were detained.

(7) Old School House Built in 1845 “for the education of the lower and labouring classes” it was erected on land donated by Sir Richard Wilmot. The original building costs were covered by the Holdens of Aston Hall and above the front door can be seen the crest of the Holden family. In heraldic terms it depicts a ‘Moorcock rising sable, winged Or’. This school served Aston until replaced by a new school in Long Croft in 1984.

(8) White Hart Inn This pub can be traced back to 1771 when it was owned by Christopher Wright. The front wall of the White Hart displays a large lintel supporting the clubroom above. Until recent times a passageway existed beneath the lintel giving access to a car park at the rear of the premises. Originally the passageway was a right of way to agricultural land owned for many years by James Sutton of Shardlow. A condition of this right of way was that the passageway should be of suitable size to accommodate a cart with top load.

A White Hart was the personal emblem of King Richard II.

(9) Pump Cottage Pump Cottage which takes its name from the village water pump once housed in the adjacent octagonal shelter which was built around 1870. The cottage formerly contained two shops, a grocery store and a butcher.

(10) Bulls Yard A small row of cottages situated between Posey Lane and Hilton Gardens. Bulls Yard takes its name from the family who occupied the dwellings for a number of generations. The 1911 Census Return records George Bull as a coal merchant living with his mother Ann and brother Charles a gypsum miner

(11) Village Shop A long established business which for many years has provided a valuable service to the village community. The shop occupies a building which formerly was part of the Home Farm yard. The shop was originally situated in the building across the drive entrance and until recent times was run by the Clulow family.

(12) Rectory Mews Aston’s original Rectory was a substantial residence built in the 1700s and enlarged during Victorian times by the addition of two gabled extensions. It was demolished in 1969. The size of the former extensive grounds, which included the buildings now known as Rectory Mews, can be judged by the area now covered by Rectory Gardens. The Rectory Mews building was formerly used as a coach house with stables and probably grooms quarters. The original Rectory had important roles during the Second World War when it provided billets for Land Girls and the cellars used as an Air Raid Shelter. The grounds were utilised by Aston’s Home Guard Unit.