Acton Castle


Location: Perranuthnoe, Penzance, Cornwall Map

Acton Castle is a protected small walled mansion near Perranasnow, Cornwall. It is Grade II* listed and was built c. 1775, c. 1790, by John Stackhouse of Pendarves. He was a brilliant botanist with an interest in seaweed and the plants mentioned by Theophrastus. Stackhouse built the castle primarily for the study of seaweed. The main material of construction is granite, with the facade and chimney made of dressed granite. The roof is covered with grout and the walls have embattled parapets; when it was converted into a country hotel in the early 20th century, a two-story wing with triple-hung windows was added.

Acton castle takes its name from Susana Stackhouse (née Acton), wife of John Stackhouse and heir to Edward Acton of Acton Scott. Shortly before his death, John Stackhouse sold the castle to Berkeley Mackworth Pred, son of William Mackworth Pred. Pred died at the castle on October 6, 1852. The castle passed to his sister, who sold it to Thomas Field, who took up residence in the castle and stayed here for some years; in 1861 he sold the castle to Richard Runyon. After Runyon's death, his widow continued to live in the castle until her death in 1899.

Below the castle, in what is now known as Stackhouse Cove, Stackhouse studied here. Today, the ruins of several large tanks used to hold seaweed for Stackhouse's studies still remain on the property; in 1797, he published his illustrated book, Nereids Britannica, which was published in 1899.

When Stackhouse and his wife were owners of the castle, a local tenant named John Carter, who rented the adjacent farm, took advantage of their infrequent residence at the castle and used the castle and nearby cove as a den for smugglers. Carter was a prolific smuggler known by the nickname "King of Prussia," hence the name of the Prussian cove. On one occasion, he even hid his brother Harry, who had escaped from prison, in this castle. According to local legend, he once built a tunnel leading from the castle grounds to the underground Stackhouse Cove. The castle was converted into a country hotel in the mid-20th century, but closed in the 1980s due to poor management. It was then developed as the luxury apartments it is today.


Haunting of Acton Castle

Acton Castle is a small mansion in Perranuthnoe, Cornwall region of United Kingdom. It was constructed in 1775 by Mr. John Stackhouse of Pendarves. He became famous as a distinguished botanist by publishing illustrated work known as Nereis Britannica in 1797. His studied in Stackhouse Cove underneath Acton Castle. In the 20th century Acton Castle was increased with addition of two storey wings. Acton Castle is allegedly haunted by a former lady of the castle. During her life time she had installed an electric buzzer in the early 20th century. After she died the buzzer was removed. However many visitors of Acton Castle claimed to have heard the sound of the electric buzzer. Among these visitors was a priest who spent a night in the former bedroom of the lady of the castle. He claimed that he couldn't sleep hearing buzzer go on and off during the night. Eventually he was forced to leave the room.