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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of England - Acton Burnell Castle






Location
near Acton Burnell, Shropshire, England

Description
Acton Burnell Castle is located near the village of Acton Burnell, Shropshire, England. The castle is a 13th century fortified manor house - the oldest fortified manor house in England. The building is now in ruins, and all that remains is the outer shell of the manor house and the gable ends of the barn, where parliament once sat. It is a Grade I listed building and now maintained by English Heritage. The more recent Acton Burnell Hall is now a privately owned college.

History
The manor house was built in 1284 by Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells. Although the building was cranellated and fortified, it was never a military castle. The building was rectangular with a forty feet tall tower at each corner. It was three storeys high with hall, bedrooms, offices, chapel and kitchen. It is believed that the first Parliament of England where Commons were fully represented was held in 1283 in the great barn next to the manor. The castle was held by the Burnell family and passed to the Lovels of Titchmarsh through marriage. The property was confiscated by Henry VII after the Battle of Stoke Field in 1487 and given to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. The castle passed to the Smythe family in the mid 17th century. Acton Burnell Hall was built near to the castle in 1814 by the Smythe family.


Other Castles in the Area
  Clun Castle, Shropshire
  Ludlow Castle, Shropshire
  Shrewsbury Castle, Shropshire
  Stokesay Castle, Shropshire







Stokesay Castle
Acton Burnell Castle.

Photograph by Humphrey Bolton. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Stokesay Castle
Acton Burnell Castle. A view of the interior

Photograph by Humphrey Bolton. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Stokesay Castle
Acton Burnell Castle

Photograph by Alan Longbottom. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)


 Acton Burnell Castle map