Acton Burnell Castle, Shropshire, England

Acton Burnell Castle is a 13th century fortified Manor House located in Shropshire. Dusk was almost upon me on the evening of my visit, and I was delighted that after a short stroll through the trees I saw this beautiful redbrick structure peeking out from behind the bushes. All that remains of this once magnificent building is the outer walls and the gable ends of the barn. It was built in 1284 by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, Robert Burnell. At that time the Bishop wielded a lot of political power and two of the earliest parliamentary meetings happened in Acton Burnell in 1283 and 1285.

Robert Burnell died in 1292 and the estate was kept within the Burnell family line until it passed into the hands of the Lovels of Titchmarsh via marriage. The castle was confiscated by Henry VII after the battle of Stoke in 1487, he subsequently granted it to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. The manor house was virtually demolished by the time the lands passed into the hands of the Smythe family in the mid 17th century.

The ruins that remains today are not the full extent of what once existed and are more or less only the private apartments of Bishop Burnell, despite this they hold a captivating charm situated in a grassy opening through the dense trees.

GPS: 52.61293, -2.68992

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