An 1825 engraving of the Entrance Facade from "Neale's Views of Seats"
The Garden Facade from a circa 1900 postcard
House & Family History: In the 17th century the Acton Burnell Estate (including nearby Acton Burnell Castle) came into the possession of the Smythe family, who built the classical style Acton Burnell Park in the early 19th century. A fire in 1914 destroyed most of the interiors of Acton Burnell, after which they were rebuilt in a neo-Georgian style. Paul Oertel and Monica Carr-Taylor founded Concord College in 1949 and purchased Acton Burnell as the home of their new school. In 1969 it passed into the ownership of Frank Bell, who, in 1983, re-formed the college into a charitable educational trust.
Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds contain a fine 18th century Grotto and the delightful folly named Sham Castle (aka Black Dick’s Tower or Keeper’s Tower), built in 1780 by Sir Edward Smythe as a music room.
Chapel & Church: The 1846 Chapel was designed by Charles Hansom.
Architect: William BakerDate: 1753-58
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, p. 90, 1853.
John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, 1825.
Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume II: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire
Author: Reid, Peter
Year Published: 1980
Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: Sir Edward Joseph Smythe, 6th Bt., 18th-19th centuries.
Current Ownership Type: School
Primary Current Ownership Use: School
Ownership Details: Today Concord College