Acton Burnell Kellys Shropshire Directory 1863

English: Acton Burnell Church and Castle. An e...
English: Acton Burnell Church and Castle. An example of church, castle and also a later hall, being close together. St Mary’s Church is mainly 13C, with a Victorian tower. The castle is actually a fortified manor house, the oldest example in England. It was built by Robert Burnell c.1284. Each corner has a tower 12m high. There also is a huge barn, older than the house and said to have been used for a meeting of Parliament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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. 

English: Acton Burnell Castle - Ruined Interio...
English: Acton Burnell Castle – Ruined Interior English Heritage Property (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

English: Entrance to Ruckley Grange A smart ho...
English: Entrance to Ruckley Grange A smart house by the entrance as well as lions on the wall cannot fail to impress the visitor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Acton Burnell.

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

Acton Pigot.

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.

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