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Aston Hall excavations

Excavations around Sir Thomas Holte's grand 17th century mansion have revealed information about its surroundings. In front of the house, there was originally a courtyard. Lodges still survive at each corner of the courtyard and the excavations revealed the footings of a brick wall joining them. To the north of the main house the stable formed one side of another courtyard. The stable still survives but other buildings around the courtyard were demolished in the 19th century.

Aston Hall north range

Excavations in 2004 of the whole of the former north range revealed the bakehouse and brewhouse to the east, each with a large chimney on the northern wall, and the laundry, including a large wash house, to the west. There was a large arched water culvert at the west end of the range, with the base of a tower-like structure over it. A large whitewashed cellar was later added at the east end of the range. Entered down brick steps, it was used to store milk, butter, cheese and cream. The excavated remains have been left exposed and can be seen by visitors.

Aston Hall icehouse

There was a large icehouse outside the northern wall. This consisted of a storage chamber over 6m deep and over 4m wide which was originally covered with a domed roof and entered along a brick passage. It would have been filled with ice collected from a pool which was where Villa Park now stands, and the ice would have been taken out to cool food and drink in Aston Hall itself. The design of the icehouse was intended to keep the ice frozen all year round. The dome was covered with an earth mound and the entrance passage faced north and had two doors along it.

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