The twentieth century was a period of ever-accelerating change. It saw Aston Abbotts transformed from a semi-isolated, rural agricultural village to the cosmopolitan modern village that it is today. Prior to 1900 the changes had been largely cosmetic. The village had been rebuilt, but village farming life continued as usual.As the twentieth century advanced labour-intensive farming gave way to mechanised methods, villagers used improved transport methods to work ever further from home - and commuters arrived as the new villager of Aston Abbotts.
Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Timeline
1901The census shows 290 residents1919 Landowner Lady Wantage sells off several farms 1919 The village applies for a telephone license 1919 The village cricket club is formed 1931 Mains electricity come to the village, but not all households are connected 1933 Electric lighting installed in St James Church 1937 Mains electricity is connected to the school 1939 Piped water supplies arrive in the village 1945 A recreation ground is built 1959 Street lighting is installed in the main part of the village 1959 The village gets a main sewage system 1960 Mains electricity reaches Oxley's Farm 1964 The village cricket club is dissolved 1969 First Parish Council elections are held 1969 Village loses its resident vicar as local parishes become a group benefice 1971 Cublington (Wing) airport proposal defeated 1972 Major Morton, landowner and owner of The Abbey, dies 1975 The vicarage is sold to a private owner 1978 The village school closes 1983 A survey shows 280 villagers and 120 houses 1983 The village magazine 'The Chronicle' is launched 1984 Aston Abbotts wins best kept village in Bucks competition 1989 A plan to build affordable housing on the village outskirts is turned down 1989 Parts of Aston Abbotts are designated a Conservation Area 1990 The village Post Office closes 1991 The census shows 396 residents 1993 The Primitive Methodist Chapel closes 1994 Mains gas arrives in the village 1996 Nash's Farm is demolished to make way for twelve houses 1998 Mrs Tunnicliffe becomes the parish's first woman priest 2001 Home Farm is sold. Some of its land is sold for housing development 2003 The Bull and Butcher public house closes and the site is redeveloped as 10 dwellings 2005Osborn’s shop closes2011Vic Scott, well-known local naturalist and life-long resident of Aston Abbotts passes away2011The 2011 census records 366 inhabitants in 167 households2013The village is granted a lease for the Church Room, now renamed the Village Hall2014Bernard Osborn of Osborn’s shop passes away2016The Village Hall Trustees obtain major funding for renovation of the hall2017The Village Hall is re-opened after major renovation2018The Abbey is sold and renovation begins2019Aston Abbotts wins Bucks Best Kept Village (less than 500 inhabitants)2021The Royal Oak owners announce that they will not re-open the pub post-pandemic
The needs of a village population are far different from villagers’ needs in the mid twentieth century and huge changes have taken place.In the last 50 years or so we have lost: the cricket team, the ladies club, two pubs, the darts team, the football team, the youth club, the village shop, the Post Office, the telephone exchange, the bakery, the Old Master’s restaurant, the village school, and the Methodist chapel.Despite these changes, Aston Abbotts remain an active and vibrant village community.