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addmission to Aston Hall

Shortie

master brummie
I suppose it had to happen, but thankfully it is not too expensive. I am taking my grandson to Aston Hall during the half term holidays, so thanks for posting this, John, forewarned is forearmed! It's good to see that children still get in for free.
 

Ray Barrett

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN R.I.P.
Shortie,
When you go ask your grandson,how many squirrels can he spot in the long hall,there are 5...I think.:)
 

Shortie

master brummie
OK Ray, I will. I seem to remember something about that myself. He is studying war at school at present, WW2 to be precise, but the thought of a cannonball going into the hall is exciting for him - I dn't think he knows anything about the civil war as yet, he is only nine.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Remember visiting Aston Hall on a school trip in the 1960s. Loved the kitchens, hefty copper pots and the turtle shell on the wall! But remember there being a distinctly unpleasant smell in the kitchens. And wasn't there a tunnel from the Hall to the Church? Viv.
 

Shortie

master brummie
The Hall has had a very expensive make over recently, and it is now much more child-friendly, or so I believe. I know the curator so I really should find out a bit more before I take my grandson. I think there is now a children's play area outside and there is also a place to stop for a coffee. I had heard about the tunnel, but not sure if it is true. I have been several times over the years, but the last time was an evening visit by candlelight about ten years ago, so I am really looking forward to this return visit.
 

pollypops

master brummie
Have just read that the previously advertised re-opening date of Aston Hall has changed - it is now 9th April 2011 (closed 10th - Villa match).
Just thought I would mention it in case anyone was thinking of going and didn't realise the date had changed.
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
When are councils going to start getting rid of all the extra staff they are suppose to , it look like the public are being conned again.
Our council leader has just spent £12,000 on photos of herself and she's on £245,000 a year.
 

Di.Poppitt

master brummie
It's not as friendly as I remeber it, it is very much stand back and don't touch anything. The wooden chairs have string tied across the seats to stop anyone sitting on them. The lad in the hall who was there to greet people looked horrified when my sister told him she used to play on the front steps as a little girl, and I think we have all played hide and seek around the house. The Turtle shell has gone, and the kitchens looked a bit sterile. But still 'our Aston Hall' for all that.
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Di I wonder what happened to the turtle shell?. I do remember playing hide and seek and the kitchen was my favorite room?. Jean.
 

Di.Poppitt

master brummie
Hi Jean, I don't know where the Turtle shell went to. The people in there just seem to know about the room they are standing in, so no one to ask about things that were once a part of the house. I remembered the kitchens more than any other room. I think there were more copper pans than there are now, and there was always clothing in the old press, but not any more.
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
I think I have a booklet on Aston Hall from years ago and this thread makes me want to sort it out to take a look at the kitchen as it was back there. I am hoping I have not thrown it away.
 

Shortie

master brummie
I did not find it quite as you did, Di, but I suppose we all see different things. In years gone by you could touch anything, but these days it is a different story. For instance, the wooden chairs - I don't know how old they are, but just imagine how they would be if 30,000 bums sat on them each year. Over the years they have found out what damages things and those things are now forbidden, therefore they will be saved and on show for longer. We collect antiques, my dining chairs are almost 200 years old (made 1815-1820), and I would just die at the thought of them being sat on by all and sundry - it would seriously undermine their integrity. I was a little disappointed with the kitchen at Aston Hall though. I remember (I think) a table with brass and copper stuff on but perhaps it was another house I saw that in, as I do a lot of stately home visiting. I found there was much more information than there used to be, to read and learn about things, and the learning aspect for children is excellent. Where else can a child have a piece of cast iron, marble, concrete, etc, and get to feel them, know where they came from, and understand the individual uses? My nine year old grandson felt it was a fantastic way to learn about things and to be able to feel them, and know where they fitted in with the structure of the house. Each time I have been it has changed, I think I probably go about every 8 or 10 years, but this time I want to go back sooner so I can do more reading, but this time without two children in tow.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Agree we should try and preserve these things but give children an understanding of why they should be preserved and their importance in our history. However, I'm also all for hands on museums. Why not just offer visitors (cheap) copies of these things to rest their bums on!! Moving on..... I seem to remember the turtle being quite big, hanging high up on a wall in the kitchen. Must have been somewhere near 2ft long. But perhaps that was my active imagination playing tricks. Viv.
 

Di.Poppitt

master brummie
My sister was so fed up when she walked into the kitchen and the turtle was gone !!

I sell old stuff, and glad I am that people have looked after their things so that I can sell them, but wood is such a tactile material, and it does get its patina from those bums and it needs to be handled to carry on looking wonderful. They actually tie rope across the seats.
 

A Sparks

master brummie
I think I have a booklet on Aston Hall from years ago and this thread makes me want to sort it out to take a look at the kitchen as it was back there. I am hoping I have not thrown it away.
I certainly had one from back in the 60's, it might still be at my parent's house somewhere.

I might be wrong about this but I have a vague idea that there was a charge to go into the Hall before - in the late 50's/ 60's?
It was a small sum, maybe a shilling? Perhaps I am thinking of somewhere else!
 

Shortie

master brummie
I think there was an admission fee, then that disappeared, now there is a fee again, but that is only because of the BCC need to make massive cuts (I could offer a few suggestions, but they have not asked me!). It's now £4 but £3 concessions and children up to 16 go free.

I remember the turtle Di, but perhaps it has been removed due to the lack of connection to Aston Hall? It did not seem a loss to me, but I never knew Aston Hall as a child - that might have made it different. I don't know of any other old house/hall that lets you sit on the seats, to be honest, and is there much of a need? I think that there should be a facility there for those who are not good on their feet, but they should not be old chairs. I don't ever remember being able to sit on any chairs at the Hall, myself, I have to say. There is a place to sit afterwards, in the much needed coffee shop - we did not use it this time, but I have felt the need for a drink on other occasions, and also the loos, with those wonderful tiles dating back to 1860. Why have they been closed all of this time? I still think it is a brilliant place, with a wonderful history, and my grandchildren were totally fascinated.
 

Colin B

gone but not forgotten
I found a reference to admission prices on the Birmingham Heritage Forum although BMAG and BCC websites seem to omit it
Free admission to all visitors on the first sunday of every month during
the open season
I have contacted the Hall and they confirm that free admission is available on those days, but say more people visit on those days (I wonder why) and recommend visiting on one of it's quieter days, with easier parking and less queueing

Colin
 
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