Acton Scott Tower

Has been described as a Questionable Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameActon Scott Tower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishActon Scott

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)

Gatehouse Comments

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.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO453895
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Currie, C.R.J. (ed), 1998, VCH Shropshire Vol. 10 p. 9-22 (plan) [online transcription >]
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 69 (Reject)
  • Rees, Wm, 1932, Map of South Wales and the Border in the 14th century (Ordnance Survey) (A handbook to the map was published in 1933)
  • Forrest, H.E., 1915, The Old Houses of Wenlock and Wenlock Edge, their history and associations p. 57-58


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132