Aston was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as "Estone", having a mill, a priest and therefore probably a church, woodland and ploughland. The Church of Saints Peter and Paul was built in medieval times to replace an earlier church. The body of the church was rebuilt by J. A. Chatwin during the period 1879 to 1890; the 15th century tower and spire, which was partly rebuilt in 1776, being the only survivors of the medieval building.
The ancient parish of Aston (known as Aston juxta Birmingham) was large. It was separated from the parish of Birmingham by AB Row, which currently exists in the Eastside of the city at just 50 yards in length. It was included in the borough of Birmingham in 1906, and a further part, Saltley was added in 1911.
Old buildings which became popular within Aston included the Aston Hippodrome and the Bartons Arms public house. Gospel Hall on Park Lane was opened in 1892 and demolished in the 1970s to be rebuilt at the top of Park Lane in 1979. The original hall had a seating capacity of 73. Another meeting place was the Ellen Knox Memorial Hall which was next door to the Midland Vinegar Brewery. The brewery was owned by the Midland Brewery Company was built around 1877. It was located on Upper Thomas Street. The brewery was a three-storey brick building with rounded corners and semi-circular windows. The roof was slated. Other industry that was located in Aston include the Premier Motor Works which produced cars during the early 20th century. The works were situated at the junction of Aston Road and Dartmouth Street. On Miller Street was a tramcar depot which had a storage capacity of 104 tramcars. It opened in 1904.
Aston University. Its campus is not in Aston but far south of Aston in Birmingham city centre.
Aston underwent large scale redevelopment following the Second World War. South Aston was designated a renewal area whilst a new town to the west of this. This became "Newtown" and is a large estate consisting of sixteen tower blocks, five of which have since been demolished. The project was approved in 1968. Three 20-storey tower blocks on the complex contained 354 flats alone.
Today, Aston gives its name to Aston Villa F.C. and Aston University (the campus of which is not in Aston but to the far south of Aston in Birmingham city centre). Aston University is one of four universities in Birmingham. Aston Villa have played at Villa Park since 1897, and it has traditionally been one of the largest football grounds in England that has staged many notable matches at club and international level. The park has also hosted other sports and events including international level rugby league and rugby union.This is one of the main attractions in this town.
Much of Aston consists of terraced houses that were built around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Some of these houses were demolished in the late 1960s to make way for the Aston Expressway, which links Birmingham city centre to the M6 motorway. In the late 1950s, Aston was the location of the famous 'Venus Baby' case of Cynthia Appleton (87 Fentham Road).
By the early 1980s, Aston was suffering from severe deprivation with many of the terraced houses being outdated for the requirements of the time. Many of them lacked bathrooms and indoor toilets, whilst the vast majority were suffering from decay as a result of a lack of maintenance. There was speculation that the homes would be demolished, but Birmingham City Council made money available to the homeowners for them to be brought up to modern standards.
From 2001 to 2011, Aston underwent a £54 million Birmingham regeneration project named "Aston Pride", as part of the New Deal for Communities scheme in 2001. Many improvements were made, including reducing burglary, robbery and vehicle crime; spending £4 million on a health centre; and helping more than 1300 people find work (more than the target of 400).