About Aston Hall
Aston Hall is an imposing 17th century Jacobean manor house in Aston, Birmingham. Once the home of the wealthy Holte family, it now operates as a museum telling their history and that of Aston Hall.
Aston Hall history
Built between 1618 and 1635, Aston Hall was designed by John Thorpe in the prodigy house style, a trend that saw vast and opulent houses constructed all over Britain by courtiers and wealthy families. The founder of Aston Hall was Sir Thomas Holte, who in the early 17th century had risen in status under James I and felt he now needed a glamorous new home befitting his rank.
In 1642, Charles I stayed the night at Aston Hall on his way down to London at the outbreak of the English Civil War, yet before reaching the capital fought the infamous Battle of Edgehill against the Parliamentarians.
The following year Aston Hall itself would bear witness to the violence of the war. Though it had been garrisoned with troops from Dudley Castle, the 40 musketeers provided were no match for the 1200-strong Parliamentarian force that arrived and it suffered severe damage. Evidence of this can still be seen today, such as a hole in the staircase where a cannonball went straight through the window and into the bannister!
Despite the conflict, the house remained in the possession of the Holte family until the early 19th century, when it was at last sold off. In 1858 it became a park and museum, lasting in this capacity into the modern day.
Aston Hall today
Today visitors to Aston Hall can view luxurious interiors from the 17th through to the 19th centuries, including the magnificent Great Hall and Great Parlour. The grand state rooms showcase the history of the Hall and its former residents, including during the events of the English Civil War as well as times when the Hall played host to royalty.
The gardens are also provide a pleasant visit, with Lady Holte’s Garden dating back to the 17th century a particular highlight. Its striking symmetrical patterns and host of historic plants were designed to delight Aston Hall’s eminent Stuart visitors, yet continue to do so into the modern day.
Getting to Aston Hall
Aston Hall is located in the village of Aston, 3 miles north of Birmingham and close to Junction 6 of the M6. There is free parking onsite, while buses and trains run to the nearby Aston and Witton train stations, both a 10-minute walk away.