St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

Acton Burnell Castle was the home of Robert Burnell, a close associate of Edward I who became Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Sharing its setting here with the atmospheric ruin of his fortified house stands the pleasing early Gothic church that he built in the 1270s.

It has survived basically unchanged, though the attractive little tower is a Victorian addition.

The church is by no means ostentatious, but the craftsmanship and materials have all the hallmarks of a wealthy and fashionable patron of the time: fine detailing, Purbeck marble shafts and some windows that have progressed from Early English plain lancets towards the Decorated style, with trefoil and cinquefoil patterns.

Some of the original medieval floor tiles remain, and there is a tomb with a fine brass of 1382 to Nicholas Burnell, the 1st Lord Burnell. The much more elaborate 16th century tomb in the north transept is that of Sir Richard Lee and his wife.

St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

St. Mary’s - Acton Burnell

Unfortunately on my recent visit to Acton Burnell this church was closed due to Covid-19. I intend to go back when it is open so I can see what treasures are inside.

Whilst I was there I noticed a walking route which I had not noticed on previous visits, I intend to explore that too :-)

6 Comments CherryPie on Jun 10th 2020

6 Responses to “St. Mary’s – Acton Burnell”

  1. The first gargoyle looks like a fat Chinese monk?!
    Cute though.

  2. Looks an interesting church to return to when you can go inside. For some reason the name is familiar – will try and remember why! Love the corbels :)

  3. The Yum List says:

    Such a solid old building. Looks like it will last 100s of more years.

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