Chapels & Churches in the Ancient Parish of ASTON
The medieval parish of Aston covered a wide, dispersed area containing a number of scattered hamlets. Aston Church lay on the western edge of its parish: some hamlets within the parish were over six miles distant with rivers that flooded treacherously in winter.
< For individual churches of Aston click on the links left.
Churches are in chronological order of foundation
From as early as the mid-12th century, and perhaps earlier, chapels-of-ease were licensed to enable parishioners to attend the Sunday service without going to Aston. Aston was an extensive parish measuring some 10 miles from west to east with some dangerous river crossings as late as the 18th century. By 1165 there were chapels of ease dependent on Aston at Yardley, Castle Bromwich and at Water Orton.
Yardley was independent of Aston by the end of the 13th century.
Castle Bromwich was the manorial chapel and did not attain parish church status until 1878.
Water Orton chapel, also dedicated to Ss Peter & Paul, was founded c1345. Demolished and rebuilt some distance away, it reopened as a parish church in 1879.
Other chapels built in Aston parish before the 19th century were
St John the Baptist, Deritend founded 1381,
St Margaret, Ward End (also called Little Bromwich) founded c1516,
and St James the Less, Ashted founded 1789.
As Birmingham boomed at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, the rapid growth of population began to spill over into Aston especially from the second half of the 19th century. There was a need for new churches closer to where people lived. Churches with parishes formed out of Aston parish were built as housing development spread from central Birmingham outwards.
While the history of Aston parish from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century was one of division into ever smaller though very populous parishes, the history since the Second World War has been a story of declining congregations, closing churches and amalgamating parishes. Aston Church itself joined with St James Aston and St Matthew Nechells in 2008 to form a new parish of Aston and Nechells.