Completed in 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte, after whom the famous Holte End stand of Villa Park is name, Aston Hall has had a colourful history, including as the site of a battle in the English Civil War, during which Birmingham fought against the royalist cause.
This project takes place almost 400 years after The Battle of Birmingham, which saw 200 brummies valiantly defend the city against a 2,000 strong royalist army, on March 31st 1643. Aston Hall bears the battle scars of the Civil War to this day, including a cannonball hole in its staircase.
Over a week of workshops based at Aston Hall, participating children discover Aston Hall’s many stories, and explore them through art and music. Together with local musicians and artists, the pupils develop a performance-piece re-telling some of these stories, and perform them together at Aston Hall at the end of the project.
The project includes two amazing trips – first, to The Library of Birmingham Archives and Collections, and later to the Parliamentary Archives at Westminster. On each of these trips, the group enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the archive, learning about the work that goes into preserving stories for future generations. They also take part in bespoke workshops delivered by the archivists, and have a chance to further explore the stories they’ve discovered.