The Acton Burnell castle, located near the village of acton Burnell in Shropshire just outside of Shrewsbury belonged to the Acton Burnell family. Robert Burnell died in 1292 leaving the construction of the castle still ongoing. He had received the license to secure his residence in 1284 from the king although it is not like the residence was insecure to start with. It is believed that he just wanted to build something that would impress and he was able to do just that because the Acton Burnell castle is a marvel to date. Burnell was a bishop at that time and his position of power allowed him the resources to build impressively and employ the best masons for his buildings.
Shropshire Castle Abandoned in 1420!
The Acton Burnell castle was abandoned in 1420 and has remained unaltered since then which makes it a good show of what the architecture used to be back then. What remains of the castle is still impressive in today’s world because it showcases not only impressive architecture but also what the people with power like bishops back then were able to do. A bishop would have required such a huge residence to host his visitors and be able to take care of his employees in the residence. The residence had different levels all for various reasons.
The ground floor of the residence contained storage and service rooms which were accessible from the entrance on the east side of the castle which had three doorways. Here two of the doorways connected with other buildings in the castle that do not exist for now but there is evidence to show they existed. The first floor of the building contained of the living space of the building. The living space was accessed directly from outside using steps. The living hall was almost square and was well lit by large windows.
The corners of the castle are battlement and projecting from the rest of the building. The roof of the castle is twin-span but the south west tower has a pyramid roof which was added in the 18th century to convert it to a dovecote. The sandstone made castle has many large windows which indicates that it was not really a way castle but a comfort kind of house although the license offered to Burnell was to allow him to fortify his residence.
English Heritage Hard at Work in Shrewsbury
The castle is under the care of the English heritage and is usually open to the public during what they state as reasonable hours of daylight. Entrance to the castle is free of charge to all. You may also come with your dog provided they are on a lead. However drones are not permitted to fly or hover over this site as restricted by the laws unless under specific known reasons and permitted and insured as indicated in the English heritage regulations.
If your looking to learn more about Shrewsbury take a look at our history of Shrewsbury post here.