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Church of St Mary, Acton Burnell

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 13 June 1958
English Heritage Building ID: 259651

OS Grid Reference: SJ5334901932
OS Grid Coordinates: 353349, 301932
Latitude/Longitude: 52.6132, -2.6904

Location: Acton Burnell, Shropshire SY5 7PF

Locality: Acton Burnell
County: Shropshire
Country: England
Postcode: SY5 7PF

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Acton Burnell Castle, a Moated Site with Chamber Block and Tithe Barn, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Listing Text


SJ 50 SW
Church of St Mary
Parish church. 1250-80, restored and tower added in 1887-9. Coursed
red and yellow sandstone rubble with red and grey sandstone ashlar
dressings, tower of squared and coursed yellow sandstone with ashlar
dressings; plain tile roofs. Cruciform plan with north porch,and
tower in north-east angle. Tower: 3 stages; 3 offsets to east,
chamfered offset to belfry with clasping buttresses, moulded
corbels to pyramidal roof with weathervane, and gabled dormer to west
with shaped barge boards; 2 trefoil-headed louvred belfry lights
with hollow-chamfered reveals and hoodmoulds with uncarved stops and
divided by central buttress; quatrefoil openings to middle stage;
hollow-chamfered first stage lancet to north,and doorway to east with
chamfered arch, and boarded door with strap hinges. Nave: chamfered
plinth, angle buttresses to west with 4 closely-spaced offsets, corbel
table with moulded and carved corbels, and coped parapeted gables with
moulded and carved kneelers; parapeted gable end to west rests on
moulded corbels at eaves level; west front: window of 3 stepped
lights with moulded reveals and hoodmould with carved stops; moulded
arched doorway has hoodmould with carved stops and C19 boarded door
with strap hinges; south front: 3 chamfered trefoil-headed lancets
with hoodmoulds and carved stops; blocked doorway between first and
second windows from right with moulded arch and hoodmould with carved
stops; north front: 2 chamfered trefoil-headed lancets to right with
hoodmoulds and carved stops, small circular quatrefoiled window high
up to left; moulded-arched doorway off-centre to left has hoodmould
with carved stops and two C19 boarded doors with strap hinges; porch
with chamfered plinth and coped parapeted gable, double chamfered
arch with inner chamfer dying into responds and hoodmould with carved
stops, and niche in apex of gable with nodding trefoiled head and hood-
mould with carved stops. Transepts: chamfered plinth, corbel table
with moulded and carved corbels, and coped parapeted gable with
moulded kneelers; north and south windows each of 3 lights with
geometrical tracery consisting of quatrefoil and trefoils, hollow-
chamfered reveals, and hoodmould with carved stops; pairs of east and
west lancets to south transept and pair of blocked east lancets to
north transept, each with trefoil head, chamfered reveals and hood-
mould with carved stops. Chancel: chamfered plinth, cill string,
angle buttresses, and coped parapeted gable end; north front: triple
lancets to left with trefoil heads, moulded reveals, and hoodmoulds
with carved stops; large chamfered-arched recess to right with cill
string carried over as hoodmould, and small square opening within to
left; south front: group of 4 lancets to right and pair to left with
trefoil heads and hoodmoulds with carved stops, those to right with
moulded reveals and those to left with chamfered reveals; priest's
doorway off-centre to left with chamfered arch, cill string carried
over as hoodmould, and boarded door with strap hinges; east end:
large window of 2 paired trefoil-headed lights with geometrical
tracery consisting of trefoils and cinquefoil in circles, nook shafts
with carved capitals, moulded reveals, and hoodmould with carved
stops; small circular window in apex of gable above. Interior:
10-bay nave roof dated 1598 and 5-bay chancel roof dated 1571 with
arch bracing to collars, cusped windbraces, queen struts and V-struts;
transept, chancel, and tower arches have chamfered jambs with carved
stops, moulded inner arches dying into responds, moulded outer arches
resting on short colonnettes with carved and moulded capitals and
carved corbels, and hoodmoulds with carved stops; nave windows with
chamfered reveals, transept windows with moulded rear arches and hood-
moulds with carved stops; chancel has cill string rising as hoodmould
above priest's doorway, side windows have nook shafts with stiff-leaf
capitals, moulded trefoil rear arches, and hoodmoulds with carved
stops; east window has nook shafts with carved capitals and hood-
mould with carved stops; C14 ogee-arched tomb recess in south wall
of south transept; moulded trefoil-headed arched piscina in each
transept, small piscina in south-east corner of nave, and double
piscina in chancel with moulded trefoil-headed arch, carved bowls
and hoodmould with carved stops; trefoil-headed chamfered-arched
piscina or aumbry in north wall of chancel. Fittings include: C13
octagonal stone font with trefoil-headed arcading and attached shafts-
with moulded capitals, except one with carved stiff-leaf; C16 linen-
fold panelling behind altar; Cl7 five-sided wooden pulpit on stone
base; probably 1887-9 altar rails and choir stalls. Medieval floor
tiles in north transept and probably medieaval stencilled wall
decoration in south transept. Most windows with clear diamond-
leaded glass. Monuments include: chest tomb in north transept to
Sir Nicholas Burnell (died 1382) with crocketed ogee-arched arcading
and a brass on top; large alabaster monument in north transept to
Sir Richard Lee (died 1591) has 2 recumbent effigies under a round
arch with kneeling offspring behind, flanking piers, much strapwork
decoration, and central coat of arms above with flanking terms; large
monument in north transept to Sir Humphrey Lee (died 1632) by Nicholas
Stone with 2 kneeling figures facing each other across a desk, 2 round
arches with carved soffits, flanking pilasters, offspring in row beneath,
and triangular pediment above with shield; many other wall tablets
in transepts, nave and chancel including C17 brass plaques and a
tablet of 1794 signed by King of Bath with a military trophy. The
church was built for Robert Burnell (died 1292) whose fortified house
stands in ruins nearby [Acton Burnell Castle (q.v.)]. B:o.E. Pp.49-51;
D.H.S. Cranage, An Architectural Account of the Churches of Shropshire,
Vol.6, Pp.450-61; John Salmon, Acton Burnell and its Church, 1974,

Listing NGR: SJ5335101931

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.