Edward Aston (1494-1568) a prominent Staffordshire
protestant, built an Elizabethan Hall at Tixall in 1555. He had married well:
First to Mary Vernon, daughter of Sir Henry Vernon, who died without issue
in 1525, and then to Jane Bolles, daughter of Sir Thomas Bolles of Penho
in Monmouth who was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
His son, Sir Walter Aston (1529-1589) another
prominent Staffordshire protestant, built Tixall Gatehouse
around 1580. In August 1586 the Hall was the temporary prison of Mary Queen of Scots
while her quarters at Chartley were being searched for incriminating evidence.
Sir Walter's grandson became Walter,
First Lord Aston at the coronation of James 1st. He was sent to Spain as
Ambassador from 1620-1625 to try and arrange a marriage between the Infanta
daughter of Philip III, and Charles, Prince of Wales.On his second visit from
1635-1638 he became a Roman Catholic. His successors were then subject to
increased taxation and political and social isolation as recusants.
Walter, Fourth Lord Aston began to take down and rebuild Tixall Hall.This
work was continued after his death in 1744, by his son, James, Fifth Lord
Aston. Unfortunately, James died young in 1751, aged 28, leaving two young
daughters, and an unfinished Hall.
The younger daughter,
Barbara, married the Hon.Thomas Clifford, 4th son of Hugh 3rd Lord Clifford
of Chudleigh in 1761. She inherited Tixall when she came of age in 1768,
and Thomas set about building a new house and improving the estate.
The new house incorporated
the rebuilt east wing and quadrangle, with an impressive new range at the
front as shown in an undated ground plan from
Thomas Clifford's son, Thomas Hugh, inherited
the Burton Constable Estates, Yorkshire in 1821 and took the name Constable.
Granson, Thomas Aston Clifford Constable, decided to consolidate his estates
in Yorkshire, and put Tixall up for sale in 1833. It failed to meet the reserve
and was eventually sold in 1845 to Earl Talbot of neighbouring Ingestre.
Tixall Hall was then rented out.
The hall was eventually taken down
in 1928/9, with some of the stone being used to build St John's Church chancel
at Littleworth, Stafford. The two Coadstone Lions from the top of the single
storey wings, were sold to the Lilleshall Estate for £5 and now guard
the entrance to the National Sports Centre.