ASTON - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"ASTON, a parish in the Birmingham division of the hundred of Hemlingford, in the county of Warwick, 2 miles to the N. of Birmingham. A large part of the parish lies within the borough of Birmingham. It is situated in the valley of the river Tame, across which the London and North Western railway is carried on a handsome viaduct of ten arches. There is a station at Aston. The Birmingham and Farsley canal also runs along the valley. The parish comprises the following chapelries: Ashted, Castle Bromwich, Bordesley, Deritend, Duddeston, Erdington, Water Orton, and Ward End, and the hamlets of Saltley and Witten.

In the Saxon period this place belonged to the Earls of Mercia, and was granted by William the Conqueror to William Fitz-Ausculf. In 1203 the manor passed to Sir Thomas de Erdington, and in 1367 to the Holt family, in whose possession it remained above 400 years. The population are employed in the various departments of the Birmingham trade and have largely shared in the material prosperity of that town. [See Birmingham]

The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester, of the value of £1,600, in the patronage of the Trustees of the Rev. G. Peake. The church is dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul. It has a fine tower and spire in the perpendicular style, but some parts of the building are of much more ancient date. It contains some altar tombs and effigies, and a brass of Justice Holt.

In addition to the parish church there are twelve district churches and chapels of ease in this extensive parish, named after their districts:- Ward End; Ashted, St. James; Castle Bromwich; Bordesley, Holy Trinity; Bordesley, St. Andrew; Deritend, St. John; Erdington; Duddeston, St. Matthew; St. Clement's Nechells; Lozells, St. Silas; Saltley; and Water Orton. The livings of all are perpetual curacies.

The parish has many valuable charities: the annual revenue of which is £412. The most important is an almshouse for five men and five women, founded by Sir Thomas Holt and endowed by him with a rent-charge of £88 per annum. The other charities consist of Poors' land, and numerous bequests for the benefit of the poor.

Aston Hall, a fine old mansion in the Elizabethan style, was built by Sir Thomas Holt, in the reign of James I. It stands on rising ground, near the river Tame, occupying three sides of a quadrangle, and is approached by a noble avenue nearly half a mile in length. It contains many family portraits. A room is shown in which Charles I. slept before the battle of Edgehill (1642); and on the staircase are still seen impressions of the cannon-balls of the parliamentary forces. This hall was lately the seat of James Watt, Esq., son of the great engineer.

Aston is the seat of a Poor-law Union. The parish is very extensive, comprising an area of 13,877 acres, and a population of above 60,000. See Birmingham."

"ASHTED, a suburb of Birmingham, a chapelry in the parish of Aston, hundred of Hemlingford, in the county of Warwick. Here are the Vauxhall pleasure gardens, and the horse barracks, established in 1793. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Worcester, value £210, in the gift of trustees. The church is dedicated to St. James."

"BORDESLEY, a hamlet joined with Deritend, in the parish of Aston, hundred of Hemlingford, in the county of Warwick, in the eastern suburbs of Birmingham. It is included within the bounds of the borough, and is a station on the Birmingham and Wolverhampton section of the Great Western railway. The Warwick canal passes by this place. It is the site of numerous factories and works, sharing in the general trade of Birmingham. The population, according to the last census, was 21,338, of whom 13,683 were in the district of the Holy Trinity, and 7,655 in that of St. Andrew's.

There are two churches in Bordesley - Holy Trinity, and St. Andrew's, the latter was consecrated in 1836, and has a district formed under Sir Robert Peel's Act. This church is in the decorated style. The living, value £320, is a perpetual curacy, in the alternate patronage of the bishop and trustees. The living of Holy Trinity is also a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the vicar. Here are almshouses for 12 persons, founded by James Dowell; and others, erected in 1848, by the trustees of William Lench, who gave certain properties in Birmingham by deed, dated March 11, 1525.

There are three other sets of almshouses in Birmingham, belonging to the same trust. Those in Bordesley are inhabited by a matron and 48 aged women. There are several charitable endowments worth about £35 per annum. Bordesley Hall, which stood near Camp Hill, was burnt down during the Birmingham riots of 1791. Camp Hill was the scene of the conflict between the royalists, under Prince Rupert, and the inhabitants of Birmingham, when the latter were repulsed and the town taken."

"CASTLE BROMWICH, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, hundred of Hemlingford, in the county of Warwick, 5 miles to the N.E. of Birmingham. It is within the bounds of the borough of Birmingham, and is a station on the Midland West Branch railway. The Fazeley canal passes by this place. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Worcester, value £315, in the patronage of the Earl of Bradford. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. Near the hamlet is Castle Bromwich Hall, an ancient mansion, the seat of the Earl of Bradford."

"DERITEND, a chapelry in the parish of Aston, hundred of Hemlingford, in the county of Warwick, adjoining the town of Birmingham, within the limits of which borough it is included. Previous to the Restoration this hamlet formed part of the long street which then constituted Birmingham. It has recently vastly increased in population, and may be regarded as an integral part of that town, partaking in every respect in its trade and manufactures. The approach from the Coventry road, which forms the main street, is by a handsome stone bridge over the river Rea.

The Warwick and Birmingham canal passes through the chapelry, and on its banks are numerous forges, foundries, mills, and other works. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Worcester, value £319, in the patronage of the inhabitants. The church, dedicated to St. John, is a brick building, with square tower, erected in 1736. The Wesleyans, Independents, and Baptists have chapels. There are several schools."

"DUDDESTON-CUM-NECHELLS, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, in the eastern part of the borough of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick. It is situated near the London and North-Western railway, and contains extensive workshops for construction of railway carriages, and a lunatic asylum. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Worcester, and in the patronage of trustees. The church is dedicated to St. Matthew."

"ERDINGTON, a hamlet and district parish in the parish of Aston, Birmingham division of the hundred of Hemlingford, county Warwick, 4 miles N.E. of Birmingham, its post town. It is situated near the small river Tame and the Fazeley canal, and the main road from Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield passes through it. The village is ancient, and was given by William the Conqueror to the Fitz-Ausculphs, and from them passed to the Erdington family, who built the first hall, of which some remains are still to be seen. In the immediate vicinity are many villa residences, and on the road to Castle Bromwich are some good modern houses called Erdington Slade.

The Tame appears to have been diverted from its original course in order to turn a mill which was built in the hamlet prior to the Conquest, and of which the site is now occupied by Bromford Forge. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Worcester, value £200, in the patronage of the Vicar of Aston. The church is a modern structure dedicated to St. Barnabas. The Roman Catholics have a handsome church and large college, adapted for 200 students, with suitable apartments for the bishop, chapel, and museum. It is dedicated to St. Mary, and is called Oscott College. The Independents have a chapel, and there are National and infant schools. Erdington Hall is the principal residence."

"LITTLE BROMWICH, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, hundred of Hemlingford, in the county of Warwick, 4 miles to the N.E. of Birmingham.

"NECHELLS, a hamlet in the parish of Aston and borough of Birmingham, county Warwick. It is united with Duddeston, and forms a populous suburb of Birmingham. Here are extensive workshops for building railway carriages, also a lunatic asylum. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Worcester, value £59. The church is dedicated to St. Clement."

"SALTLEY WITH WASHWOOD, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, county Warwick, 2 miles N.E. of Birmingham, its post town. It is situated on the Wednesbury canal and North-Western railway, on which latter it is a station. In the neighbourhood is a diocesan training school, with accommodation for 160 pupils. It was erected by B. Ferrey in 1850, and includes a chapel. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Worcester, value £150."

"UPPER WITTON, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, county Warwick, 3½ miles N.E. of Birmingham.

"WARD-END, a hamlet and chapelry in the parish of Aston, county Warwick, 3 miles S.E. of Birmingham. The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Vicar of Aston. The church has been restored."

"WASHWOOD, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, Birmingham division of Hemlingford hundred, county Warwick."

"WATER-ORTON, (or Water-Overton), a hamlet and chapelry in the parish of Aston, Birmingham division of Hemlingford hundred, county Warwick, 2½ miles N.W. of Coleshill, its post town, and 8 from Birmingham. It is a station on the Birmingham and Derby railway. The village is situated on the river Thame. The soil is gravelly. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Worcester, value £115, in the patronage of trustees. The church is dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul. In the churchyard is an old stone cross.

"WITTON, a hamlet in the parish of Aston, county Warwick, 3 miles N. of Birmingham, near the Grand Junction canal."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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