Wheaton Aston


Wheaton Aston

Infobox UK place
static_

static_image_caption =St Mary's church
country = England
official_name= Wheaton Aston
latitude= 52.711
longitude= -2.221
population = 2,529 (2004 Estimate)
shire_district= South Staffordshire
region= West Midlands
shire_county = Staffordshire
constituency_westminster=
postcode_district = ST19
postcode_area= ST
os_grid_reference= SJ851126

Wheaton Aston is a village in Staffordshire, England about 15 km south west of Stafford and 12 km west of Cannock. It is located beside Bridge 19 of the Shropshire Union Canal.

It has a population of several thousand according to the latest British Survey. It has good transport links making it an ideal commuter village to the large cities of the English Midlands. Junction 12 of the M6 motorway is only 5 miles away, providing quick access to Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton, while close proximity to the M54, A449 and A5 provides easy access to Stafford, Cannock, Telford and Shrewsbury.

History

The first known reference to Wheaton Aston is in the Domesday book where the parish of Lapley is mentioned and includes other local settlements.

In 1777 the first major event in the village happened when a fire burnt down over half of the village. This is known locally as the 'Great Fire'.

Up to the 18th Century, Wheaton Aston was regarded as something of a spa due to the existence of a mineral spring in one of the gardens.

In the 1830's, Thomas Telford built the Liverpool and Junction canal (now known as the Shropshire Union Canal) through the edge of the village, bringing a lot of people and trade into the village. This was due to the canal being the main through route between Liverpool and London. [ [http://www.wheatonaston.org.uk/wheaton.aston.htm "Wheaton Aston"] ]

During World War II the village had an operational airfield roughly 2 miles north of the village, which is now used as farm land, however the buildings (control tower etc.) are still present but derelict.

The last large event to occur in the village was the introduction of the sewers into the village in the 60's and 70's which allowed the village to grow in size very quickly, and resulted in many new housing estates.

nake's Head Fritillary

One of the villages claims to fame is that it is the most northerly point in the UK where the pretty but very rare flower can be found growing in the wild. Locally it is known by the name 'Folfallarum'. In years gone by it used to be tradition that on the first Sunday on May, the villagers would all go out and pick the flowers. This tradition is what caused the flower to become the villages unofficial emblem, used on things like the local school uniforms.

Nowaday's the area where the flower grows, known as 'Mottey Meadows', is ran by English Nature, to protect the flower. [ [http://www.wheatonaston.org.uk/wheaton.aston.htm "Wheaton Aston] ]

Amenities

Although in the heart of the South Staffordshire countryside there are many amenities for the local population including two pubs, The Hartley Arms and the Coach and Horses (which also provides accommodation for a Chinese take-away), a post office, paper shop, general store, a garage-cum-chandlery-cum-hardware shop (Turners), a motor engineers (Hinsley's) and a couple of farms (The Bridge and Whitegates) who also sell their produce direct to the public. [ [http://www.wheatonaston.org.uk/local.businesses.htm "Wheaton Aston Local Businesses"] ]

There is one school in the village, St. Mary's CE(C) First School, which has a total intake of roughly 100 children. [ [http://schools.expresscommerce.co.uk/stmarys/ "St Mary's School, Wheaton Aston"] ]

Churches

There is currently one church and one chapel in the village.

There has been a church on the current site in the centre of the village since the 14th Century. This original wooden church was one of the few building to survive of the Great Fire in 1777. However, due to disrepair, this church was demolished and a new stone church was built in 1857. This was then extended in 1894, and is the church still currently standing. All of the windows were made in a medieval style by the renowned victorian master of stained glass, Charles Eamer Kempe. [ [http://churches.lichfield.anglican.org/penkridge/lapley/wheaton.htm "St Mary's Church, Wheaton Aston"] ]

The Zion chapel was built in 1814 and was established as a 'Congregational church'. [ [http://www.wheatonaston.org.uk/chapel.history.htm "Wheaton Aston Chapel, History from 1745"] ] However when the Congregational and Presbyterian churches conbined they decides to join the The Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches (E.F.C.C.) Worldwide so that they could continue preaching the same as before. [ [http://www.wheatonaston.org.uk/chapel.htm "Wheaton Aston Chapel"] ]

Music Festival

It has a music festival, the [http://www.wheatonastonfestival.supanet.com/index1.html Wheaton Aston Festival] now in its sixth year, which, one day, hopes to rival the Glastonbury Festival.

References


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