Aston Upthorpe and Aston Tirrold
(South Oxfordshire)

Nearby villages:

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Aston Upthorpe & Aston Tirrold

The villages of Aston Upthorpe and Aston Tirrold lie in the shadow of the Berkshire downs in the south of the county. These are twin villages in every sense of the word. Unless you know the Astons you would think you are in one village, but the two signs tell you differently. Approaching from South Moreton the sign on the right hand side of the road says Aston Upthorpe whilst opposite is a sign saying Aston Tirrold - all very confusing! Both are attractive picture-postcard villages with plenty of cob, thatch and half-timbering in evidence.

Location map:

Aston Upthorpe nestles at the foot of Blewburton Hill which has the clear outlines of a fair size Iron Age fort around part of the top, whilst at the foot is Blewburton Hall. The small plain church of All Saints is thought to be Norman and may well be standing on the site of an earlier church. In 1992 traces of wall painting were discovered, the earliest (early C14) being of St. Christopher holding the Christ Child on his shoulder. It is said that the battle of Assendune (Ashdown) was fought in this neighbourhood and, if this is the case, the church may be where King Ethelred was praying while Alfred, his brother, defeated the Danes.

St. Michael's Church in Aston Tirrold has been altered over the centuries but there is evidence of Norman and perhaps Saxon origins. In the early 13th century the Chancel was rebuilt and the south Transept was added and later, a tower. A lot of the medieval work was destroyed in the 19th century, including wall paintings, when the church was again restored and enlarged.

During the 20th century the Astons have been closely connected with horse racing. At one time there were four trainers in the two villages. Although there is now only one, in Aston Upthorpe, horses can still be seen exercising around the villages. The stud farm is one of the leading stud farms in England.

The Chequers Inn in Aston Tirrold is home to a smart French restaurant, The Sweet Olive.

Aston Upthorpe and Aston Tirrold lie just off the A417, about 5 miles north-east of Streatley.

Images of Aston Upthorpe:
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Aston Upthorpe 1
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Images of Aston Tirrold:
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Aston Tirrold 1
Aston Tirrold 2
Aston Tirrold 3
Aston Tirrold 4
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