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Pictures of Acton Burnell Castle

a Castle in the town of Acton Burnell, in the county of Shropshire

About Acton Burnell Castle

Although crenulated, the spectacular red sandstone ruins of Acton Burnell speak more of a grandiose place of comfort rather than a defensive fortress built in times of war.

The castle owes its romantic reputation to its idyllic setting amongst the rolling 'blue' hills of Shropshire, bordering closely with Wales. It was built by Robert Burnell in 1284. Burnell was a favourite of Edward I, he was his Chancellor and was also Bishop of Bath and Wells. His family had held the manor here for around a hundred years and now, with permission from the King to crenellate, it took on the air of a grand estate. This was to be short lived, the male line of the Burnell family died out in 1420 and the castle was abandoned.

In the 17th-century, the castle which had been purchased by the Smythe family was once again abandoned, the Smythe's had decided to build for themselves a new more modern home. In keeping with the times they built a superb Georgian Hall, gloriously embellished with graceful Ionic columns and the castle, together with its adjacent buildings was left to become a ruin.

The Georgian Hall built by the Smythe family is now a college and the romantic ruins of the once grand castle are cared for by English Heritage.

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Acton Burnell - the Castle and St. Mary's Church

Acton Burnell (16 Pictures)

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Church Stretton (52 Pictures)

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(8.4 miles, 13.5 km, direction SW)

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Shrewsbury Abbey (5 Pictures)

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