Acton Burnell Castle

The red sandstone ruins of Acton Burnell Castle are situated near to the village of Acton Burnell in Shropshire.  The castle was built in the late 13th century by Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells and advisor to King Edward I, as a fortified manor house, although the large first floor windows indicate the castle was constructed more for show than protection.

BuiltLate 13th Century
TypeFortified Manor House
ConditionRuin – Major structure remains
OwnershipEnglish Heritage
AccessPublic – Free

Castle Layout

The castle resembles a Norman Keep, it was rectangular and three storeys high with a battlemented tower in each corner.  Inside the castle the ground floor had storage and service facilities.  There was a large square hall over the second and third floor and the floors also contained living quarters.  Robert Burnell also built the nearby Church of St Mary.

Further Information

In 1283, during a visit from King Edward I to Acton, the first Parliament of England at which commoners were represented was held there in an adjacent barn.  

Following the death of Robert Burnell in 1292 the castle passed down his family line but by 1420 the castle was abandoned and left to ruin. 


Acton Burnell Castle is apparently haunted by a ghost of a young girl dressed in white and wandering about making scratching noises.  In 2004, a student captured a picture of a “misty” face and heard scratching sounds.

Present Day

Today just the shell of the fortified manor house remains but with a little imagination you can imagine what an impressive house it once was. The Grade I listed building is now looked after by the English Heritage and admission it is free to visit.

Address: Acton Burnell, Shropshire, SY5 7PE

Location: Latitude 52.612909 Longitude -2.689908

Click here to read about our experience of visiting Acton Burnell Castle

10 thoughts on “Acton Burnell Castle”

  1. Now that was clearly some house! I wonder who the ghostly girl was? Has anybody ever looked into that?

    It is hard to imagine this place being haunted when the sun is shining so gloriously over the old walls. This would have been an amazing house to visit in its day ( maybe a bit drafty now! ) but still very impressive. I love the feature on the old windows, they would have looked amazing. But more importantly, I wonder what they would have seen when they were looking out of them. It is such as shame that the heritage trusts can’t rebuild some of these, It would be so nice to see what they would have looked like in their heyday. 

    Lovely photos! It really does look like this place would be full of history. If only the walls could talk! 

    • It is quite a mystery who the ghostly girl was, I have not come across any information in my research regarding her identity.  Indeed if only walls could talk!

      The walls still stand high and it is quite easy to picture how it may have once looked.

  2. Hey,

    As a Belgian, I have never had the opportunity to visit foreign castles. I think I have already visited all the Belgian castles. I love that special atmosphere and it makes you feel like you’re in the Middle Ages…

    Your article of the fortified manor house captures my imagination with that “ghost girl” appearance in white. And indeed, with its windows on the ground floor, it probably wouldn’t have served as a defense. Still a very nice building!

    Good job!

    Yours sincerely,

    • Thank you very much for your comment. 

      I have never had the pleasure to explore the Belgian Castles although I certainly hope to one day.  

      Acton Burnell is a lovely Castle to explore but you are right it was not built for defensive purposes.

  3. I always get amazed every time I see that castles still exist. I always tell myself that I need to visit one before I pass on. Which country has the most castle? I will want to go and visit that country before my time. This castle seems like a pretty nice place to go to. 

    • We have plenty on our list to visit, and that is just within the UK. It’s lovely to know you get that thrill from visiting these magnificent places. There must be so many castles around the world. I think for the size of the country Wales has to be pretty high up the list, Germany too (another place I’d like to visit one day).

      Thank you for your comment!

  4. I visited Acton Burnell Castle last Friday and captured a male voice telling me to “Get Out , Now” I was the only male present along with 3 female friends we didn’t see anyone else. A lovely place to visit.

    • Sorry I have not replied sooner, your message got lost amongst spam unfortunately. What an eerie experience, I have friends who are part of a paranormal investigating group so will be sure to pass this on to them.. Did you record the voice?

    • Thank you. Acton Burnell is quite an unknown site but well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.


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