Bridleway near Aston Tirrold
Origin of the name
Possibly it was to Torold son of Geoffrey, father of the Nicholas holding in 1166, that Aston Tirrold owes its name. Certainly Nicholas son of Torold de Aston and possibly his father before him, was immediate tenant of the manor under the Earls of Warwick.
The parish church within the Church of England is Saint Michael's. There may have been a church on the site since before the Normans came, as the north aisle has a square-headed doorway that may date from this period. The doorway is clearly not in its original position, as it links the 19th century north iasle with the vestry.
The Norman south doorway is 11th century. The nave and chancel were also Norman, built in the 12th century, but the chancel was rebuilt in the Early English Gothic style in the first half of the 13th century. The priest's doorway and lancet windows survive from this time. The south transept is also from the first half of the 13th century but was remodelled in the first half of the 14th century. The Decorated Gothic east window of the chancel is also 14th century. Page and Ditchfield thought that the bell tower was from the first half of the 13th century. However, it is Perpendicular Gothic which suggests it is no earlier than the middle of the 14th century. The tower has a ring of six bells.
Within St Michael's is a blocked staircase which, before the Reformation, used to lead to a rood loft, torn out at the reform. The upper and lower doorways to the stairs are late Perpendicular Gothic.
In 1863 the church was restored and the Gothic Revival north aisle was added. The aisle has three bays designed in a 14th-century style. The organ loft was added in 1910 but includes a 15th-century Perpendicular Gothic window that may have come from the north wall of the nave when the north aisle was built. St. Michael's is now a member of the Churn Benefice.
A Presbyterian congregation was established in the area shortly after the Act of Uniformity 1662, from which date two local dissenting clergymen, Thomas Cheesman, formerly vicar of East Garston, and Richard Comyns, formerly vicar of Cholsey, preached to congregations meeting in barns and in the open air. A Society of Dissenters had been founded at Aston Tirrold by 1670.
Aston Tirrold Presbyterian chapel is a Georgian building of 1728. It is built of blue and red brick, has two arched windows and a hipped roof. From 1841 until 1845 its minister was Thomas Keyworth, author of Principia Hebraica. It is now Aston Tirrold United Reformed Church
Aston Tirrold used to have a public house, the Chequers Inn, now converted into The Sweet Olive gastropub.
- "Parishes: Aston Tirrold", A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3 (1923), pp. 452-457, at british-history.ac.uk, Date accessed: 26 February 2011
- Page & Ditchfield, 1923, pages 452–457
- Pevsner, 1966, page 73
- Towers in the ONB Branch, Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Old North Berks Branch
- Churn Churches: St. Michael's Church, Aston Tirrold and All Saints' Church Aston Upthorpe
- McDonald, 1978
- Pevsner, 1966, page 74
- Aston Tirrold United Reformed Church
- McDonald, Frances (1978). Monument to Faith: A history of Aston Tirrold Reformed Church. Aston Tirrold.
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 280–291.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 73–74.