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North Aston
NorthAston StMary SE01.JPG
St. Mary the Virgin parish church
North Aston is located in Oxfordshire
North Aston
North Aston
 North Aston shown within Oxfordshire
Population 212 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SP4728
Civil parish North Aston
District Cherwell
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bicester
Postcode district OX25
Dialling code 01869
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Banbury
List of places

Coordinates: 51°57′22″N 1°18′32″W / 51.956°N 1.309°W / 51.956; -1.309

North Aston is a village and civil parish about 7.5 miles (12 km) south of Banbury and 10 miles (16 km) north of Oxford.



The Domesday Book records that in 1086 Edward of Salisbury, High Sheriff of Wiltshire, held the overlordship of the manor of North Aston, and that through him it became attached to the manor of Amesbury.[2] From Edward, North Aston descended through his son Patrick to his grandson Patrick of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Salisbury (died 1168).[2] The overlordship descended with the Earls of Salisbury to Margaret Longespée, 4th Countess of Salisbury and thence to her daughter and heiress Alice de Lacy, 3rd Countess of Lincoln (died 1348) who was also 5th Countess of Salisbury.[2] Alice was married to Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster but in 1322 he was deposed by a party of barons and executed. One of the barons, Hugh Despenser the Younger, obtained North Aston, which was now a manor of two and a half knight's fees.[2] However, in 1326 Despenser was executed for treason. It is not clear whether the Crown regranted the manor of North Aston immediately after Despenser's death, but by 1389 William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury held it with the manor of Amesbury.[2]

By the late 14th century the Earls of March held an estate of one knight's fee at North Aston as part of the barony of Clifford Castle.[2] This is likely to be because Margaret Longespée inherited the barony of Clifford from her grandfather Walter de Clifford (died 1263).[2]

Lords of the Manor[edit]

St Mary the Virgin parish church: 15th century alabaster monument to a knight and his lady; reputedly John and Alicia Anne

In 1086 Edward of Salisbury's tenant at North Aston was Anchetil de Greye.[2] The tenancy had passed to the Trivet family by 1279 and to the Anne family by the middle of the 15th century.[2] In 1554, on the death of a John Anne, North Aston passed to Sir Robert Broke, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; possibly through the marriage of John Anne's granddaughter to Robert Broke's son.[2] The manor descended via Broke's son John and grandson Sir Basil (died 1646) to Thomas Brooke. Sir Basil Brooke and his son were recusants and Thomas was a Royalist, so in 1653 the Commonwealth authorities sequestrated his estates.[2] The Parliamentarian Major John Wildman, who speculated in confiscated lands, bought North Aston[2] but in 1655 he was jailed. Thomas Brooke seems to have recovered the manor thereafter, as his sister Frances was married there in 1656.[2] Thomas's grandson Basil inherited North Aston in 1687, and it remained in the Brooke family until Basil's widow Winifred died in 1716 leaving North Aston to another recusant: Henrietta Fermor, sister of James Fermor of Tusmore.[2]

Soon afterwards Henrietta seems to have sold the estate to Anthony Rowe, Clerk of the Green Cloth.[2] Rowe's son-in-law Trevor Hill, 1st Viscount Hillsborough inherited North Aston from him but sold it in 1733.[2] The buyer was Charles Oldfield, a Jamaica merchant who on his death in about 1740 gave the estate to his friend Charles Bowles.[2] Three generations of the Bowles family held the estate, the last being Charles Oldfield Bowles who in 1862 sold it to William Foster-Melliar.[2] When Foster-Melliar died in 1906 a Captain John Taylor of Southgate, Middlesex bought North Aston, which included a 990 acres (400 ha) estate.[2] In 1911 Capt. Taylor moved to North Aston Manor and sold North Aston Hall, 200 acres (81 ha) and part of the village to Thomas Pakenham, 5th Earl of Longford.[2] W.L. Hitchens, then chairman of Cammell Laird, bought North Aston Hall in 1929 and his family still owned it in 1980.[2]

Manor House[edit]

The present North Aston Manor House is an H-shaped 13,186 square feet (1,225.0 m2) building of which the central part was probably the hall of a 15th-century house[3] or earlier. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 the neighbouring and ultimately much larger North Aston Hall became the primary home of the lords of the manor of North Aston, while the manor house became one of the main farm houses of the estate. Occupied by various tenants, the property was called Great House Farm during the 18th and 19th centuries, later Manor House Farm.

In the 1930s Captain John Vickris Taylor had a new house built on land that had once formed part of the tract associated with Great House Farm, and called this Manor Farm. in 1976 the Captain's son, Colonel Anthony Taylor, sold the Manor itself to Charles Mackenzie Hill, who subsequently[when?] also bought North Aston Hall.[4]

North Aston Hall[edit]

North Aston Hall is a large Jacobethan country house built in the 17th century[5] The ten-bay front was added in the 18th century and the present windows and parapet were added in about 1850.[3]

Parish church[edit]

St Mary the Virgin parish church: 19th-century stained glass in the east window of the chancel

The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin existed by 1151, when William of Aston gave it to the Augustinian Bradenstoke Priory in Wiltshire.[2] The present building is mostly Decorated Gothic, with early 14th century windows and north and south arcades.[5] However, the south aisle ends in a chapel that has a 15th-century Perpendicular Gothic east window[5] and the nave has a 15th or 16th century clerestory.[6]

The baptismal font is in an unusual style and it is not known in what era it was carved. Sherwood and Pevsner suggested it might be 14th century;[5] English Heritage says it is probably 17th century but might be earlier.[6] One of its panels has been carved into a shield but the others are blank and the carving seems incomplete.

In 1867 the building was restored and enlarged to designs by George Gilbert Scott, who had the north aisle extended to be as long as the south aisle.[5] The church is a Grade II* listed building.[6]

The tower has a ring of six bells.[7] Henry III Bagley, who had bell-foundries at Chacombe and Witney,[8] cast the tenor bell in 1741.[9] John Warner and Sons of London[8] cast two more bells in 1866.[9] John Taylor & Co of Loughborough[8] cast the remaining three bells including the treble in 1979.[9]

Since 1976 St. Mary's has been part of a united Church of England Benefice with the neighbouring parishes of Steeple Aston and Tackley.

Economic and social history[edit]

Traditional cottages in Somerton Road
Oxford Canal bridge on the parish boundary between North Aston and Somerton

The Domesday Book records a watermill in the parish, presumably on the River Cherwell.[2] The Gambon family were the millers for most of the 13th century, and it continued to be called Gambon's Mill until the 18th century.[2] From the latter part of the 16th century until early in the 18th century it seems to have been a double mill with two millraces and two separate tenants.[2] The last known record of a double mill is from 1733.[2] The Rose family were millers here continuously from 1673 until its commercial closure in 1938, although grain continued to be milled for local use throughout the period of the Second World War, and for a brief time afterwards. The Mill was sold off by the Estate in 1950 and by 1955 had been converted into a private home.[4] Its machinery has been restored and in 1980 remained in situ.[2]

The stretch of the Oxford Canal between Banbury and Tackley was completed in 1787.[10] It runs along the Cherwell valley and for a short distance it forms the eastern boundary of North Aston parish.

A village school was built in 1844 and was supervised by the Church of England Diocese of Oxford.[2] In 1872 it moved to new premises when William Foster-Melliar converted the original coach house to the North Aston Hall into a schoolroom with two teachers' cottages attached. In 1923 it was reorganised as a junior school and senior pupils were transferred to the school at Steeple Aston. After the second World War the number of pupils steadily declined, and in 1955 North Aston school was closed. For some twenty years the old schoolroom was a village hall for the community, but in 1976 the building was converted into a private house.[4]

Current economy and amenities[edit]

North Aston has a substantial garden centre, Nicholsons Nurseries.[11]


Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[12]


St Mary the Virgin parish church: baptismal font


External links[edit]

Media related to North Aston at Wikimedia Commons

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Aston — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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Banbury Guardian

Banbury Guardian
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 03:57:02 -0700

Eileen Gilmore with Ginny the Gordon Setter and Ralph the Springer Spaniel who board with her at her house in North Aston. NNL-160504-172504009. Roseanne Edwards. roseanne.edwards@banburyguardian.co.uk. 11:55 Thursday 07 April 2016. 0.

Oxford Mail

Oxford Mail
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 07:43:18 -0800

A male pedestrian from Banbury has died after reportedly being hit by a van near the village of Steeple Aston near Bicester. The A4260 Oxford Road southbound was closed due to a three-vehicle accident at about 8am between North Aston Road, Duns Tew, ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:00:40 -0700

Josh Healy runs North Aston dairy near Oxford, selling organic milk from a 12-cow herd to 250 customers. “The difference in the quality of milk when producing for quality over quantity is remarkable. It feels strange to call both what we produce and ...

The Australian Financial Review

The Australian Financial Review
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:40:01 -0700

Joe Aston and friends bundle into a Range Rover and hit the road to England's north for the culinary expedition made famous by The Trip. The music's not bad either... Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the television series, 'The Trip'. Which one is Joe Aston?

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 03:35:02 -0800



Wed, 02 Mar 2011 23:31:06 -0800

Mr de Sousa said he believed Mr Cash, 47, was his employer because he made all the decisions about North Aston Hall. Mr Flood asked Mr de Sousa how he had not noticed his wages were being paid under the name Oakmere Property Management ...

Bucks Herald

Bucks Herald
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:47:06 -0800

A police spokesman added: “We were called at 11.58 yesterday, to a fear for welfare at a premises on College Road North, Aston Clinton. “A man in his late thirties was taken to hospital by Paramedics to Stoke Mandeville hospital where he was later ...

Birmingham Post

Birmingham Post
Wed, 20 Jan 2016 19:31:12 -0800

Birmingham-born Kevin Cash began his business career selling frozen foods. Now – having moved out of frozen food and into property and internet firms – the appropriately named Kevin Cash is one of the most influential figures in the London property ...

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