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Aston Hall in Aston Park | by ell brown
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Aston Hall in Aston Park

This is Aston Hall, including all the buildings as viewable from the front. It looks amazing with all that almost perfect snow.


It is a Jacobean style mansion. Construction started in 1618 and was finished by 1631 when Sir Thomas Holte moved in. It was designed by John Thorpe. It is a Grade I listed building.


It was damaged by Parliamentary troops in 1643. The house was built for Sir Thomas Holte and it remained in the Holte family until 1817, when it was sold and leased to James Watt Jr, son of the world famous James Watt.


The house was purchased in 1858 by a private company (the Aston Hall and Park Company Ltd) for use as a public park and museum. After financial difficulties it was bought by the Birmingham Corporation in 1864 becoming the first historic county house to pass to municipal ownership.


Washington Irving once visited it, who wrote about it as Bracebridge Hall, taking the name from Abraham Bracebridge, husband of the last member of the Holte family to live there.


Rest of the info on Wikipedia


1618-35 for Sir Thomas Holte. A major early Jacobean house on a grand scale

with a main block facing east, the forecourt enclosed by projecting flanking

wings each with a square turret breaking slightly from the inner face. Shaped

gables to front of wings and across symmetrical elevation of main block which

in surmounted by an axial tower rising in 3 stages from the balustraded parapet

to terminate in a 2 tier cupola: the dome on a square base over the original

lower tier. Surprisingly restrained ornament to the elevations of red brick

with darker brick diaper, the stone facings and quoins reserved for the corners.

Well proportioned mullion and transom windows, with 2 storey canted oriel

windows crested by strapwork to the ends of the wings. The central stone

doorway, giving immediately into the centre of the hall, has Doric columns,

entablature and cartouches above framed by strapwork and surmounted by ball

finials. An inscription bears the date 1618. Plans for the ground and first

floors survive in John Thorpe's book of drawings in the Soame Museum but there

are differences in execution, particularly the plan of the hall, a provision

for a polygonal end to the chapel on the south front and 3 bays on the west

the foundations of which survive. Alterations may well have taken place following

damage in the Civil War. Narrow wings abut the outer faces of the main forecourt

wings but were originally of one storey only at their east and west ends

heightened in the late C17. An arcaded loggia flanks the chapel projection

in the centre of the south front. The west range has a 2 storey main elevation

with a flat roof ro the Long Gallery on the first floor, the main block of

the hall rising on the third storey behind with 6 shaped gables and a chimney

stack with 6 grouped octagonal shafts. Archway to loggia at south end originally

one storey but as on east front heightened late C17, corresponding archway

added to north end in C18. The north elevation service/kitchen range with

considerable alterations to fenestration in the late C17 and C18 and with

early C19 service one storey additions. Very fine interior with wealth of

decorations in contrast to almost classical restraint of exterior. Much panelling

and architectural framework to doorways in great hall and to many of the monumental

chimney pieces in stone end alabaster. Richly carved strapwork balustrade

staircase in square well. One hundred and thirty six feet long, well preserved,

long gallery. Considerable amount of original decorative plasterwork to frieze

and ceilings but desceptively successful imitation Jacobean plasterwork carried

out for John Watt the younger, leasee of the Hall in the 1818 to 1848.


Aston Hall - Heritage Gateway

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Taken on January 8, 2010