The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Acton Scott Tower

In the civil parish of Acton Scott.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO45378950
Latitude 52.50052° Longitude -2.80608°

Acton Scott Tower has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


A castle or tower is referred to in 1587 and 1631. Its location is not certain, and probably centred on Castle Hill at SO446897. The OSRC location, SO45378950, depend on name tower yard. Comments by I Burrow, 1976 Possibly the predecessor to the present hall (OS Record Card).
The possible ground plan of this building is shown in Mrs Stackhouse Acton's MS of the Acton Scott Villa. This shows a roughly square structure, c 17ft on a side internally, with projections at two opposite corners, the whole forming a type of Z plan. There is a brick lined fireplace set in one wall, with a projecting stack, and a second brick fireplace in the centre of the floor. One possible doorway is shown. (Shropshire SMR report)

Watch Tower or House (temp. Henry III) (site of).
Site of an ancient watchtower in the Tower Yard enclosure (Rev ONB 1901 7).
Possibly the site of a house of temp. Henry III, predecessor of Acton Scott Hall. (The name "Castlehill Wood" at SO 445897 may be significant) (Forrest).
No visible remains of a building within Tower Yard, which is a pasture field (F1 ASP 09-JAN-73).
SO 453895. Site of tower listed by Hogg and King "Acton Scott (?)". Shown on map of 'fortifications other than castles', mostly 15th century (Hogg and King).
The possible ground plan of this building is shown in Mrs. Stackhouse Acton's Ms on the Acton Scott villa. This shows a roughly square structure about seventeen feet on a side internally, with two projections at opposite corners forming a type of Z-plan. There is a brick-lined fireplace set in one wall with a projecting stack, and a second brick fireplace in the centre of the floor. One possible doorway is shown (Salop SMR). (PastScape)

The field called the Tower Yard is just north of the church. The Tower was apparently occupied in the mid 17th century by the Baldwins but later abandoned, and its ruins were quarried in 1790. It was a stone building c. 17 ft. square internally with projections, one of them a fireplace, on three sides. Its walls were c. 3 ft. thick. Presumably it was either the chamber end of a disappeared hall or, less probably, a tower house. Parallels, especially in Shropshire, are hard to find. (VCH)

The Tower Yard location, by the church, is more likely for this tower than the Castle Hill location. The ground plan in the VCH is not that of a pele tower and the walls are probably too thin to be truely considered defensive. Presumably C16 in date (there seems no evidence for a C14 date as suggested in PastScape) and, therefore, well past the normal date range of defensive towers of this sort even in the Scottish borders. Was a gentry status building and not the manorial centre. Presumably this was a solar tower attached to some timber buildings. It is entirely probably that it was decorated with crenellations.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact