British Medieval Castles: Acton Burnell Castle
13th century
Open to Visitors

Acton Burnell Castle is a 13th-century fortified manor house built between 1284 and 1293 by Bishop Burnell, Edward I’s Lord Chancellor. It’s located near the village of Acton Burnell, in Shropshire, and its position was important at the time because it was near to the old Roman road of Watling Street.

The building was rectangular with a tower at each corner. It was built in three levels and consisted of a hall, solar, bedrooms, offices, chapel and kitchen. 

Acton Burnell is believed to have held the first Parliament of England, in 1283 – the first time in English history that the law-making process included the Commons. 

By 1420, the castle was abandoned and a new house, Acton Burnell Hall, was built beside it. In 1487 and following the Battle of Stoke Field, the land was confiscated by Henry VII, who gave it to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk.

Today, the castle is maintained by English Heritage. All that remains of it is the outer shell of the manor house and the gable ends of the barn, accessible via a footpath through a small wood.

Visit Acton Burnell Castle


Dogs on Leads
Carpark (Free)
Limited Access
Acton Burnell Church tiles and inscription.
Acton Burnell Church tiles and inscription. Image courtesy of Flickr Commons (James Stringer). Creative Commons.
Acton Burnell Castle - Ruined Interior.
Acton Burnell Castle - Ruined Interior. Image courtesy of English Heritage and Wikimedia Commons.


Open during daylight hours. Note that the adjacent college closes the gates to the access road at dusk each day.


Acton Burnell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY5 7PE


+44 0370 333 1181




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