Little Aston is an affluent area of the district of Lichfield, within the settlement of The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield. At the last UK census there were 935 homes in the village, well over 10% of which were multimillion-pound properties, and is known for its footballers and successful businessmen.
- 1 Location and boundaries
- 2 Former residents
- 3 Residences
- 4 Administration
- 5 Recreation and education
- 6 Commerce and transport
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Location and boundaries
Little Aston is located in the very south of Staffordshire. Although within the district authority of Lichfield, residents consider themselves part of The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield settlement, being the nearest town 3 miles away and on historical grounds, than part of Lichfield being 7 miles through open countryside.
Little Aston is contained within four corners, formed by local landmarks: Blake Street Station rail bridge in the east, by Little Aston Golf Club's grounds to the west, a naturally flowing stream to the north and the Rosemary Hill Road/Thornhill Road traffic island in the south.
At the south is the Sutton Park National Nature Reserve, home to over 2400 acres of wild grasslands, forested areas, lakes and wild ponies, all accessible though the bordering Streetly Gate. In the north is the Little Aston Recreation Ground, winner of the 2015 Most Improved Fields in Trust Award, this community funded 7.5 acre play field with over 3000 trees serves as a community hub with annual events.
Little Aston is twinned with the French village of St. Georges sur Baulche in the Burgundy region, 100 miles south-east of Paris and 525 miles from Little Aston.
- Graham Taylor, England football manager lived in a gated community off Rosemary Hill Road whilst managing Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
- Roy Hodgson, England manager lived on Little Aston Park Road when managing West Bromwich Albion
- Peter Schmeichel, voted the greatest goalkeeper of the 20th century.
- Mark Bosnich, double league cup winning international goalkeeper, owned one of Little Aston's numerous mansions during his time at Aston Villa football club.
- Ugo Ehiogu, Premier League and international footballer, lived in Little Aston during his English career.
- Mark Kinsella, Captain of the Irish football team and former Irish Footballer of the Year, owned one of the village's mansions while playing for West Bromwich Albion.
- Andy Gray, Scottish footballer and former Sky Sports presenter, during his time at Aston Villa football club.
- Gabriel Agbonlahor, England and Aston Villa footballer lived on Roman Road during the peak of his career
- Trevor Eve, English actor
- Roger Moore owned and took residence in a property on Rosemary Hill Road in the mid 80's when in the area.
Little Aston's small community is divided between nine main areas: Little Aston Park, Claverdon Park, Rosemary Hill Road, Little Aston Lane, Forge Lane, Walsall Road, Aldridge Road, Little Aston Hall and Lady Aston Park.
Little Aston Park
Located in the south of the village is Little Aston Park. Often referred to as "Millionaire's Row", it is a private estate with no public right of way over any of its private roads or grounds, consisting of around 100 unique architect designed houses. It also contains one of the village's championship golf clubs, Little Aston Golf Club, and St.Peter's Church. The park is located in a woodland setting around the historic rhododendron-lined Roman Road which closely follows path of the ancient Roman Icknield Street.
Its private roads and gated entrances are maintained by LAPRA Limited (Little Aston Park Residents Association), to which home-owners contribute. To ensure only high standards of development, Lichfield Council requires "for properties to be very large and detached, set down long driveways with significant screening and landscaping between neighbouring properties", and has designated the area the Little Aston Park Conservation Area. In addition, the non-developed borders to the park are protected by being designated as green belt land.
Due to the added value the Little Aston Park name adds, some neighbouring roads have started self-labelling themselves as being within the park. Only properties on: Roman Road, Roman Grange, Squirrel Walk, Keepers Road, Beech Gate, Park Drive, Longacres, Longfield Drive, Selwyn Walk, Jervis Park and Endwood Drive are actually within Little Aston Park.
Claverdon Park is a private estate consisting of 82 large detached houses and bungalows. It is accessible only through the Little Aston Park's private road and gate network. Whilst often confused as being part of the Little Aston Park, it is in fact a separate entity managed by Claverdon Park Management Company Limited. Claverdon Park is not subject to the same high standards of development and woodland setting as its neighbouring Little Aston Park is, and is not part of Lichfield Council's designated Little Aston Park Conservation Area.
Roads within Claverdon Park are: Claverdon Drive, Stonehouse Drive, Roman Lane, Roman Park, Barns Croft and Alderhithe Grove.
Rosemary Hill Road
Rosemary Hill Road is a public road with many private gated driveways leading off the highway and gated houses alongside, particularly on the more exclusive Lichfield District side which borders the Little Aston Park. The west side of road is part of Little Aston (Lichfield) and the east side is in Four Oaks (Birmingham). The Four Oaks side is home to more middle class homes whereas the west side is home to more gated expensive properties.
Little Aston Lane
At the heart of the village is Little Aston Lane. Running opposite expanses of fields and the grounds of Aston Wood golf course, the lane consists of around 50 large, detached houses. A recently constructed, landscaped recreation area also runs parallel to the lane, managed by the Little Aston Recreational Ground Association.
In addition to the lane's own housing, it also contains the entrance to The Grove. A cul-de-sac within Little Aston Lane, The Grove contains 51 large, detached homes, similar to those on the lane itself.
The Little Aston Village Hall, is also on the lane, providing services and facilities to the small community. A crown green bowling club and a tennis club are on the Hall site.
Many residents have complained to the local MP and county council regarding excessive use of the village roads by HGV tippers and artics, exposing young children walking to school to great risk. There is a bizarre situation where there is a 7.5 tonne weight limit in one direction of the road, but not in the other, and Staffordshire County Council's explanation that imposing the limit in both directions would burden the neighbouring Birmingham Council's road network with excessive traffic.
Running out of the Little Aston Park and into the surrounding countryside is Forge Lane. It is lined by around 40 detached and semi-detached houses, situated on both sides of the road. The village's Little Aston Primary School is located on the lane. Forge lane also contains the entrance to Little Aston's recreation site, a large area of landscaped grassland, popular for dog walking and sports activities. In addition to this, the entrance to Little Aston's vicarage is also in the lane, which has been the home of many of the village's vicars.
Forge Lane is a continuation of Roman Road which is directly opposite across Little Aston Road. Roman Road is the old Roman, Ryknild Street part of which can be seen within the confines of Sutton Park which is at the opposite end of Roman Road from Little Aston Village by Rosemary Hill Road. The lane derives its name from the forge mill and adjacent cottages which stood over bourne / footherley brook which can be found further down the lane from the village. The mill and cottages were built around the mid 1600s by Thomas Foley whose name was used for the Foley Public House in Streetly. The mill was initially a hammer mill for iron smelting and ingot production, as the surrounding area has deposits of iron stone which were used in the mill. The mill use was changed sometime in the early 1800s to become a flour mill up until it was destroyed by fire in 1903. The mill cottages remain to this day and are residential homes, with the oak beams used in its construction still in place in the ground floor rooms and upper floor ceilings.
The mill pond that lay in front of the cottages which feed the mill wheel is no longer there having been filled in sometime after the first world war, but its outline can be seen within the adjacent Footherley Wood and the small piece of open land beside the bridge over the brook. It has been said but not proved that the fields to the side of the cottages were used by Oliver Cromwell as a camp site on his way north to Chester during the Civil War. The Chester Road being not more than a half a mill from the cottages.
The present day Little Aston Primary school which stands on the lane is not more than 100 yards from the former school which are now residential homes but if you inspect the buildings you will see the school boys and girls entrances detailed in the brick work of the buildings. These buildings stand opposite the blacksmiths old forge which is at the top of the lane close to Little Aston Road. The Blacksmiths forge is sometimes thought to have been why the lane was called Forge Lane, this is not correct as it was the forge mill further down the lane that gave rise to the lanes name. The blacksmiths forge was not only a forge but the site of the production and building of horse / farm carts and cart wheels. The blacksmiths forge stopped being used as a forge sometime during the 1950s, but today is back in use as a design studio and bespoke carpentry company.
Running from the Rosemary Hill traffic junction to Forge Lane, this public road is adjacent to and borders the Little Aston Park. There are around 30 large detached houses on the roadside, and private gated communities such as Beechwood Croft and Woodside Drive where houses are multimillion-pound.
Continuing on from Walsall Road, Aldridge Road begins on the junction of Forge Lane and Roman Road ending at the A452 Chester Road. It is lined by around 170 houses both detached and semi detached. At the junction with the Chester Road is the former Evans Halshaw Porsche dealership, which later became a Bentley dealership, then a Ferrari and Maserati dealership, and now is an independent classic car dealer selling 1940s, 50s and 60s vehicles.
The majority of Aldridge road borders the northerly side of the Little Aston Golf Club, although it is hidden by trees. A long stream running alongside hole 12 and 13 of the golf course runs underneath a small bridge on Aldridge Road which was struck by lightning in the mid 80's causing the closure of Aldridge Road for many months. The stream runs into Lowlands Wood to the rear of a section of properties on Aldridge Road which is privately owned by one Aldridge Road resident.
Little Aston Hall Estate
This small area of residence is situated within what used to be the grounds of Little Aston Hall. Seven blocks of superior apartments were constructed on the site during the mid-1980s, each containing six luxury living spaces. The complex is set back from the road on a private gated drive and situated in many acres of grassland and landscaped gardens.
Lady Aston Park
Lady Aston Park is a recent development of around 50 gated luxury apartments, aimed exclusively at the over 55s. The community borders the Little Aston Hall development, and is alongside the Bupa care home and private hospital. The estate is managed by the Lady Aston Park Management Co. Ltd which is in the ownership of the apartment owners. Day-to-day management is in the hands of an elected committee of residents.
Little Aston is one of Lichfield's electoral wards, although it is separated from the city by open country and is in Tamworth Parliamentary Constituency. Little Aston's current Member of Parliament is Christopher Pincher.
Little Aston was for a long time a part of the parish of Shenstone, until St Peters Church was built at the expense of, and on land donated by, Hon Edward Swynfen Parker Jervis. The new church designed by architect G E Street, was consecrated in 1874.
Recreation and education
Little Aston has two golf clubs: the championship Little Aston Golf Club and the new Aston Wood Golf Club. A private BUPA hospital is located on the former Little Aston Hall's estate and Little Aston also features the Midlands' foremost residential estate, Little Aston Park. Little Aston also has its own primary school, Little Aston Primary School, and next door is the Little Aston Recreation Ground. Located at the village hall is the tennis club and bowling green.
Commerce and transport
Within the boundaries of Little Aston, there is only one independent newsagents, a gourmet butchers and one drink store all located on Little Aston Lane. However wider ranges of local mini-supermarkets, hairdressers, fish and chips shops, restaurants and pubs are available in neighbouring Burnett Road Streetly and The Crown Four Oaks all half a mile away, plus a wide range of trendy restaurants and major supermarkets in Mere Green one mile away. A comprehensive high street is in Sutton Coldfield town centre.
Nearby junctions with the A38, M5, M6, M6 Toll and M42 give easy access to the north-east, north-west, south-west and south-east towards London. High speed trains towards Manchester and London are available from Lichfield and Birmingham, with connections available from Blake Street. A public bus also runs through Little Aston every 30 minutes towards Mere Green and Sutton town centre.
- Hiscock, Ted (1986). Gone are the days: a History of Little Aston and Surrounding Area. Storm Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7467-0010-5.