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Visit Wheaton Aston
Wheaton Aston, on the Shropshire Union Canal in Staffordshire
In the 1830s Thomas Telford’s Liverpool and Junction canal, now known as the Shropshire Union Canal, was constructed on the eastern side of Wheaton Aston, bringing with it the Bargees who worked their way from Liverpool to London with their cargoes.
There are BW facilities: Toilets, Water, Elsan, Pumpout, Rubbish Disposal and a Winding Hole at the Wheaton Aston Wharf.
Situated on the Four Counties Ring cruise - MAP - with plenty of visitor moorings Wheaton Aston is still a popular stopover for tourists and boat owners cruising throughout the area.
Wheaton Aston lock is the first 'proper' lock if you're cruising up from Autherley Junction near Wolverhampton, where the Shropshire Union joins with the Staffordshire and Worcsester Canal.
It is known that the village of Wheaton Aston would have been in existence at
the time of the Domesday Book and has only really had two major events in its
history directly affecting the size of the village; the great fire in 1777 which
destroyed half of the village houses and the installation of better sewerage
in the 1960s and 70s which had the opposite effect of allowing more houses to
be built. This popular 'residential' village is within commuting distance of
a few large towns and cities and private housing prices reflect this.
Another interesting link with the past is the village’s unofficial flower emblem - The Snake’s Head Fritillary, a bulbous plant in the family Liliaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The name is derived from the Latin term for a dice-box (fritillus), and probably refers to the checkered pattern, frequently of chocolate-brown and greenish yellow, that is common to many species' flowers. Collectively, the genus is known in English as fritillaries; some North American species are called missionbells – known locally as ‘Folfallarum’ or 'Folfar'. This pretty but very rare flower grows in damp, uncultivated meadows and grows wild in only a few places in England, with Mottey Meadows (MAP), Wheaton Aston being the most northerly. In the past when it grew more prolifically it was an annual event on the first Sunday in May for the villagers to pick the flower. Luckily this habit no longer exists and Mottey Meadows is a designated National Nature Reserve or NNR – the folfallarum’s natural habitat – is now in the care of English Nature. Mottey Meadows NNR is one of the finest examples of lowland hay meadows in Europe and supports over 200 different species of flowers and grasses. The best time of year to visit the reserve is in June and early July when a concessionary path provides access to the most spectacular meadows. At other times of year a permit is required to visit this reserve.
Improvements have been carried out to the centre of Wheaton Aston as part of South Staffordshire Council’s rolling programme of work to enhance the villages within its District. Designed by the Council’s in-house Landscape Architects, the scheme has transformed an open area in the historic core of the village. What was once a bleak expanse of tarmac is now an attractive and useful public space. Other changes included the visual enhancement of external spaces within the Conservation Area, reducing area of road surfacing and making the centre more pedestrian-friendly, providing a visual and physical focal point for the village and area for community events and creating an appropriate setting for the Church and cottages.
Wheaton Aston village provides the boating visitor with a range of facilities including a garage with boat chandlery adjacent to the canal that has a reputation of supplying 'red' at the most competitive price in the area and a flexible fuel duty declaration policy, a newsagents, post office, small Spar supermarket (Cash Point), hairdressers, dentist and two public houses - The Hartley Arms being right next to the 48 hour visitor moorings by Tavern Bridge (19), together with a Church and a Chapel.
Medical services are also available on weekday mornings at the village surgery. - Wheaton Aston organisations
The village holds the Wheaton Aston Music Festival and Wheaton Aston Carnival.
Wheaton Aston is a couple of miles from Weston Park the venue of 'V' Festivals, Counrty and Game Fairs etc. - Weston Park's events page.
The Staffordshire Way footpath.
Boat builders, Boat Hire and Chandlers & Associations
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