Acton Burnell, in the Cound division of Condover hundred and union of Atcham, county court district of Shrewsbury, is a township, parish, and very neat village, with the hamlets of Acton Pigot and Ruckley, 9 miles south-east from Shrewsbury, and 9 from Much Wenlock ; it is situated near the Roman or Watling Street road, in the rural deanery of Condover, archdeaconry of Sulop, and bishopric of Lichfield. The church of St. Mary is an old stone building in the Early English stvle, with nave, chancel, porch, and tower with 3 bells. The living is a rectory, value £300 per annum, with residence and 80 acres of glebe land, in the gift of Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., who is a Roman Catholic; the Rev. William Serjeantson, M.A., is the incumbent. Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., J. P., is lord of the manor, and resides at the Hall, a spacious white mansion with large park stocked with deer; near to the house the pleasure grounds are extensive, tastefully laid out, and well filled with a variety of American and other flowering shrubs.
The ruins of a castle, near to the church and Hall, claim attention, from the many interesting and historical facts connected with it: it is recorded a Parliament was held here in the year 1283 by King Edward 1., on which occasion the Lords sat in the Castle and the Commons in a barn, the gable ends of which only remain: here it was that the statute known by the name of the Acton Burnell statute was passed. In the Hall is a spacious and beautifully adorned chapel, at which the family and servants, with a numerous congregation from the surrounding Villages, attend divine worship. Here is n National and Roman Catholic school for boys and girls. The charities are of £5 yearly value. The area of Acton Burnell township is 1,579 acres; and the population in 1861 was 283, besides a population of 78 in Ruckley and Langley township. The soil Is of a loamy nature; the subsoil, sandy. Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., and J. Coates, Esq., are chief landowners.
Acton-Pigot, 1 mile north-east from Acton Burnell, is a chapelry in Acton Burnell.
Ruckley and Langley form a small village and township in the chapelry of Acton Pigot and parish of Acton Burnell, about 1 mile east from that place, and 5½ west from Much Wenlock. The chapel is a small structure, where divine service is performed only twice a year. The living is a curacy, subordinate to the rectory of Acton Burnell. The population in 1861 was 78. Sir Charles Frederick Smythe, Bart., is lord of the manor and sole landowner.
Parish Clerk, Thomas Perks.
Giles Rev. Francis S. [roman catholic]
Serjeantson Rev. Wm. M.A. Rectory
Smythe Sir Charles Frederick, bart. J.P. The Hall
Bould Richard, bricklayer
Davies Joseph, farmer
Edwards John, gardener
Foreman John, farmer
Foreman Robert, bailiff to Sir C. F. Smythe, bart
Harvey John, shoemaker
Perks Thomas, shopkeeper
Pinches Richard, carpenter
Reynolds Thomas, butcher
Southern Elizabeth (Mrs.), Stag’s Head
Vaughnn William, miller
Onions Joseph, carrier
Perry Graddon, farmer & maltster
Edwards John, farmer
Granger Paul, farmer
Jones Evan, farmer
Jones Martha (Mrs.), farmer
Perks William, tailor
Williams John, farmer
Davies James, farmer, Langley hall
Morris Joseph, farmer
Steadman Richard, farmer, Park gate
Letters are received through Dorrington, Shrewsbury.
Post Oppice. — William Steadman, receiver. Letters from Shrewsbury arrive at 7.25 a.m.; dispatched at 5.45 p.m. The nearest money order office is Shrewsbury.
National School (boys & girls), Miss Margaret Ward, mistrs.
Roman Catholic School, Mrs. Mary Ann Tilley, mistress.
Carriers to Shrewsbury.— Joseph Morris, Wednesday & Saturday; Joseph Onions, Wednesday & Saturday.
Source: Post Office Directory of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and the City of Bristol, Printed and Published by Kelly and Co., Old Boswell Court, St. Clement’s, Strand, London. 1863.