Aston, Steeple (St. Peter)

ASTON, STEEPLE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Woodstock, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 6 miles (N. N. E.) from Woodstock; containing 580 inhabitants. This place is thought to have been occupied by the Romans, as a tessellated pavement was discovered in the vicinity in the 16th century. The parish includes the villages of Steeple-Aston and Middle Aston, and comprises 1875a. 2r. 37p.: it is skirted by the river Cherwell and the Oxford canal; and the Oxford and Rugby railway intersects a part of it. Limestone is quarried for building. The apricot-tree is cultivated extensively by the cottagers, and there are about twenty apple-orchards. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 2. 8½.; net income, £582; patrons, the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose College, Oxford. The church is an ancient edifice, partly rebuilt in 1842: the north aisle, chancel, and tower are early English, and other portions in the decorated style. In a chapel on the north side of the chancel are recumbent effigies of Sir Francis Page and his lady, to whom the manor of Middle Aston formerly belonged: Sir Francis destroyed some monuments of the Dinham family to make room for his own, which was erected in his life-time. In the parish chest is preserved part of the hangings of the altar of the church, of the 14th century, richly embroidered; in the churchyard are the steps and base of a perpendicular cross. A school is endowed with £20 per annum, and a house and garden, from a bequest in 1640, by Dr. Samuel Radcliffe, principal of Brasenose College, who founded two scholarships in that college, to be supplied, if possible, from the school; he also founded an almshouse here for poor women. An account of the history and antiquities of the parish was published at Deddington, in the county, in 1845. Near the village, a strong chalybeate spring was discovered in 1833.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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