Acton Burnell Castle, a Moated Site with Chamber Block and Tithe Barn


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Data Source

English Heritage

County Council (Unitary)

Shropshire Council


Acton Burnell

Parliamentary Constituency

Shrewsbury and Atcham

Grid Reference

SJ534534 (353405, 301952)

WGS84 Coordinates

52.613, -2.68824

Nearest Postcode


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The ruins of a tithe barn, the only standing remains of the ancillary buildings associated with Acton Burnell Castle, forming part of one of the county's finest and most substantial medieval moated manor complexes. Although usually spoken of as a barn, it may have been a domestic building, possibly the forerunner of the adjacent manor house built in 1284. However, the surviving masonry is not older than the time of Robert Burnell (the builder of Acton Burnell Castle).The two gable ends of the barn survive to their full height, and evidence for the side elevations will survive below ground. The gables would have formed the north and south ends of a substantial aisled building, 50 metres long by 13 metres wide. The barn was the property of the Burnell family who owned the land from the 1180s. Robert Burnell entered the royal service as a clerk to Henry III's son Prince Edward, and later became chancellor of England and the Bishop of Bath and Wells when the prince became King Edward I in 1272. The king's military campaigns frequently brought him to Shropshire, and he stayed at Acton. This barn is, by tradition, the place where in 1283 he held a parliament, supposedly the first at which commoners were represented.

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