28 July 2017
Created by Barry Thompson © 2011-2017 Aston on Trent on Trent Local History Group, all rights reserved
Aston on Trent - The Big Houses - The Hall or Mansion Built in 1735 for Robert Holden, this substantial country house is of two and a half storeys and five by three bays. It is thought to be the work of Francis Smith of Warwick. Built of brick with stone dressings from neighbouring Weston Cliff, the house has a central bay breaking forward with a Venetian window above a porch with Ionic columns, the latter being a later addition. Further additions were made in 1828 and a few years later, possibly around the early 1840’s, the building was painted a “stone” colour. In 1898 the Holden’s sold the Aston on Trent Estate, along with the Hall, to Colonel William Dickson Winterbottom. Shortly after this change of ownership a major extension was built to the west front of the Hall. This comprised a two storey wing with attics, the ground floor being a Billiard Room which is sometimes referred to as the Ballroom, with bachelor rooms above. Access to the first floor rooms is by a staircase of eighteenth century origins which was obtained from an outside source. In the early part of the twentieth century the grounds and gardens were re-modelled. The Winterbottom family remained at the Hall for twenty-six years and during the First World War they gave over part of the Hall to serve as an auxiliary hospital for the recuperation of wounded officers. Following the death of Colonel Winterbottom in April 1924 the Hall, together with entire Aston on Trent Estate, was sold at auction in November of that year. The Hall and its grounds were purchased by Nottingham Corporation and in April 1926 it was opened as a Colony for the Mentally Deficient. Over the ensuing years the Hall was used less for patient occupation and was eventually used for administrative and staff accommodation purposes as more suitable patient accommodation was developed in the Hall grounds. During the 1980’s and 90’s Aston on Trent Hall hospital gradually went through a shut-down process with the Hall itself being sold of to private developers in 1995. The Hall was subsequently converted into private apartment dwellings. Despite its various roles over the last eighty years Aston on Trent Hall has been treated kindly and sympathetically during its terms as two types of hospital and finally as private apartment dwellings. Both externally and internally it has remained largely true to its original design and hopefully will remain so protected by its Grade II listing as a building of special architectural and historic interest.