Aston Tirrold shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||372 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Aston Tirrold|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Aston Tirrold is a village and civil parish at the foot of the Berkshire Downs about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Didcot. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.
Origin of the name
Possibly it was to Torold son of Geoffrey, father of the Nicholas holding in 1166, that Aston Tirrold owes the second part of its toponym. Certainly Nicholas son of Torold de Aston and possibly his father before him, was immediate tenant of the manor under the Earl of Warwick.
There may have been a church on the site of the Church of England parish church of Saint Michael since the Saxon period, as the north aisle has a square-headed doorway that may date from this period. The doorway is clearly not in its original position, as it links the 19th century north aisle with the vestry.
The Norman south doorway is 11th century. The nave and chancel were also Norman, built in the 12th century, but the chancel was rebuilt in the Early English Gothic style in the first half of the 13th century. The priest's doorway and lancet windows survive from this time. The south transept is also from the first half of the 13th century but was remodeled in the first half of the 14th century. The Decorated Gothic east window of the chancel is also 14th century. Page and Ditchfield thought that the bell tower was from the first half of the 13th century. However, it is Perpendicular Gothic which suggests it is no earlier than the middle of the 14th century. The tower has a ring of six bells.
St. Michael's used to have a rood loft. It was removed, presumably during the English Reformation, and the stairs are now blocked. The upper and lower doorways to the stairs are late Perpendicular Gothic.
In 1863 the church was restored and the Gothic Revival north aisle was added. The aisle has three bays designed in a 14th-century style. The organ loft was added in 1910 but includes a 15th-century Perpendicular Gothic window that may have come from the north wall of the nave when the north aisle was built. St. Michael's is now a member of the Churn Benefice.
A Presbyterian congregation was established in the area shortly after the Act of Uniformity 1662, from which date two local dissenting clergymen, Thomas Cheesman, formerly vicar of East Garston, and Richard Comyns, formerly vicar of Cholsey, preached to congregations meeting in barns and in the open air. A Society of Dissenters had been founded at Aston Tirrold by 1670.
Aston Tirrold Presbyterian chapel is a Georgian building of 1728. It is built of blue and red brick, has two arched windows and a hipped roof. From 1841 until 1845 its minister was Thomas Keyworth, author of Principia Hebraica. It is now Aston Tirrold United Reformed Church
The musician Steve Winwood and the other members of his rock band Traffic (Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, and Chris Wood) lived at a country cottage near Aston Tirrold in the late 1960s and wrote much of the Mr. Fantasy album there. Other visitors included Stephen Stills and Pete Townshend. Subsequently the guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker, previously of The Cream, visited, which led to the formation of the short-lived rock band Blind Faith. Steve Winwood left the cottage in 1969, but returned for a BBC Four documentary screened in 2010.
- "Area: Aston Tirrold CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- Page & Ditchfield, 1923, pages 452–457
- Pevsner 1966, p. 73.
- Towers in the ONB Branch, Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Old North Berks Branch
- Churn Churches: St. Michael's Church, Aston Tirrold and All Saints' Church Aston Upthorpe
- McDonald 1978, p. not cited.
- Pevsner 1966, p. 74.
- Aston Tirrold United Reformed Church
- The Sweet Olive at the Chequers Inn
- The Traffic Cottage at Aston-Tirrold, Steve Winwood Fans' Site, 8 September 1998
- Thornton, Kate Arc of a Diver — The Steve Winwood Story, BBC Radio 2.
- Clapton, Eric; Sykes, Christopher Simon (2007). Eric Clapton: The Autobiography. London: Century. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-1-84605-160-9.
- Sweeting, Adam, Steve Winwood: English Soul, BBC Four, The Arts Desk, 19 June 2010.
- Steve Winwood: English Soul. BBC Four, 18 June 2010.
- Henman's home win nets him a country retreat at timesonline.co.uk
- McDonald, Frances (1978). Monument to Faith: A history of Aston Tirrold Reformed Church. Aston Tirrold.
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 280–291.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 73–74.
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