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Acton Round Hall

  • House & Family History: Acton Round Hall is a beguilingly beautiful house of mellow red brick with stone dressings set close to the ancient Church of St. Mary amidst a scattered hamlet in a forgotten part of Shropshire. Originally an ancient manor house, Acton Round was rebuilt as an heir-in-waiting's house for the Aldenham Park Estate by Whitmore Acton in 1713-14. That an agreement of 1715 with his aunt, Hester Acton, the widow of not one but two wealthy London merchants, specifying that she should "cohabit and dwell with him" suggests not only a close family bond, but also that she had possibly contributed to the costs of building and furnishing this smart provincial baroque house. Thought to be the work of Francis Smith of Warwick, or of one of his family, its measured proportions, while weathered with age, sits well within the formal garden laid out around it. The House's lesser status to Aldenham began when Whitmore Acton inherited the larger house when he became the 4th Baronet Acton in 1716 upon the death of his father, after which Acton Round seems to have been little used. When the Kennedy family arrived in the 20th century, livestock were found wandering in and out of the House's rooms. Today those same rooms are inhabited by an eclectic collection of items acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Hew Kennedy and their family, including armour, taxidermy, fine paintings, and furniture, while the property – now home to the next generation: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kennedy and their young family – is also home to the scagliola business run by Thomas Kennedy. (We are extremely grateful to Gareth Williams for this history of Acton Round.)

  • Architect: Francis Smith

    Date: 1713-14
    Designed: House
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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  • Country Life: CLXIII, 522, 614, 1978.

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Current Seat / Home of: Kennedy family.

    Past Seat / Home of: Whitmore Acton, 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No