Description: Acton Reynald School
Date Listed: 28 October 1960
English Heritage Building ID: 260099
OS Grid Reference: SJ5347023238
OS Grid Coordinates: 353470, 323238
Latitude/Longitude: 52.8047, -2.6916
SJ 5223-5323 SHAWBURY C.P, ACTON REYNALD
17/104 Acton Reynald School
28.10.60 (formerly listed
as Acton Reynald)
Country house, now school. Early to mid-C17. Enlarged c.1800 by
J. H. Haycock (1759-1830) for Sir Andrew Corbet, and further additions
of c.1840, possibly by E. Haycock. Enlarged and altered internally
in 1893-4 by G. H. Birch. Yellow/grey sandstone ashlar with slate roofs.
C17 house, enlarged to west and north in a Neo-Jacobean style. 2 storeys
and attic over basement. East (entrance) front: chamfered plinth, moulded
string course, moulded cornice with blocking course inscribed "ACV",
"CK" and with carved elephant and castle in centre. 4 parapeted gables
with moulded copings and finials, some truncated. Integral stone corner
stacks with circular and square shafts and further ridge stacks with
grouped circular and square shafts. 7 bays; 2-, 3- and 4-light chamfered
stone mullioned and transomed windows with wooden and leaded casements.
4 projecting 2-storey square bays (said to date from 1601 and 1625),
each with moulded cornice and blocking course with shell lunettes and acroterea.
Pair of central half-glazed doors with side lights, overlights, flanking
Ionic pilasters and dentil cornice. 2 steps up to tetrastyle Tuscan
portico with paired columns, elliptical arches, pulvinated frieze and
moulded cornice, and balustrade with square-section balusters and moulded
rail, breaking forward over dies. Circa 1840 two-storey service range,
set-back right; 2:1:2 windows with projecting square bay to right.
South (garden) front: 5 bays, with gables. Central first-floor and attic canted
bay and turret with flanking scrolls and cresting with Corbet coat
of arms (elephant and castle). 3-bay Tuscan portico in outer bays.
Peculiar bench or stand adjoining house centre of front with octagonal
piers and moulded top, and with inverted carved capital on it at time of
survey (January 1986). West front: 5 bays, with gables. Projecting
2-storey square bays in centre and left-hand bays, that in centre dated:
"SAC/1834" (or 1634) and that to left dated 1893. Seventeenth century
style panelled door in angle of left-hand bay with knocker dated 1601
and surround consisting of caryatids (cf. Moreton Corbet) supporting
entablature dated 1893. Service range of 2 storeys and attic adjoining
to left; 3 windows with gabled semi dormers and central one-storey square
bay with strapwork cresting. 2 storey gabled service range projecting
at rear, dated 1893. Interior: mainly 1893-4 by Birch in neo-Jacobean
and early C18 styles, but also incorporating some earlier features.
Entrance hall: panelling and panelled door surrounds. Panelled ceiling
with thin plaster ribs and fleur-de-lys ornament in corners. Stone fireplace
of c.1800, possibly by J. H. Haycock, consisting of coupled unfluted
columns with acanthus capitals, fluted frieze breaking forward over
columns with carved squirrels, central half-H panel with guttae and
carved raven, and moulded cornice. Staircase hall: panelling. Dog-
leg staircase with panelled soffit, pulvinated bayleaf frieze, pierced
carved scrolled balustrade, grip handrail, and square newel posts with
carved squirrels. Round archway to entrance hall with imposts and key.
Entrance to western room with large doorcase consisting of fluted pilasters
and large broken pediment. First-floor blocked round-arched arcading
on 2 sides with Doric pilasters, frieze and cornice. Archway to balcony
above archway from entrance hall; wrought-iron balustrade with monogram.
Coved roof with toplight. Library or hall off staircase hall: inglenook
fireplace with pilastered surround, gadrooned frieze dated "AD/1894"
in central cartouche, and swan-necked pediment with raven in cartouche.
Bookcases with pilasters, dentil cornice, and fake books. 2 secret
doors in bookcases. Window seat with carved squirrels as armrests.
Left-hand ground-floor front room: dado panelling. C17-style fireplace
with Ionic pilasters and overmantel with fluted acanthus colonettes,
heavy moulded cornice and central panel with enamelled figure. Enriched
plaster cornice and panelled plaster ceiling. Former drawing room:
pair of C18-style fireplaces with lugged architraves and panelled overmantels.
Late C18 style plaster ceiling. Head teacher's office: panelling with
fluted Ionic pilasters, fluted frieze and dentil cornice, and bolection-
moulded fireplace. Glazed entrance screen with broken segmental pediment,
globe finials and scrolls to lower side panels. Lobby with depressed
keyed arches. Dining room: panelling with fluted Ionic pilasters and
panels for paintings. Marble fireplace of c.1800, possibly by J. H.
Haycock, with free standing columns supporting triglyph frieze, breaking
forward at ends. Reset C17 enriched plaster ceiling with strapwork,
pendants, medallions with heads of the worthies, and central Royal
coat of arms flanked by: "I R". Early C19 back staircase with stick
balusters and ramped handrail and late C19 back staircase with turned
balusters. Bedroom corridor around central hall has radial fanlights
at intervals and doorcases with fret-ornamented pilasters and triangular
pediments. Some bedrooms with early-C18 style fireplaces. Acton Reynald
became the Corbet family home c.1800. The village was removed and the
park enlarged or created sometime after 1841. B.O.E., p.51; Colvin,
p.408; Ed. Francis Leach, The County Seats of Shropshire (1891), pp.71-4;
Mrs Frances Stackhouse Acton, The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire
(1865) p.53; Ed. Peter Reid, Burkes and Savills Guide to Country Houses,
[Vol. II, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire
(1980), p.73; H.S. Sims, The History of Acton Reynald.
Listing NGR: SJ5347023238
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.