Acton Court is a C16 century walled garden with forecourts to south and east of the house on medieval site with fish ponds; England’s earliest garden sundial, 1520, probably by Nicholas Kratzer, the King’s horologer.
The garden and grounds are included in the Scheduled Monument status. From the early 21st century, an organic kitchen garden has been created with vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as a natural wildflower meadow and orchard. The remaining 12 acres of grounds are meadow and grassland, featuring native species of grasses and plants.
Acton Court is an organic site and Soil Association Certified. Occasionally, fresh produce is available to visitors.
- Associated Buildings
House (LB I), mid C16 for the Poyntz family, reduced and remodelled c1680.
- Historic Development of the site
In 1535, Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn stayed at Acton Court while on his summer Progress around the West Country. The owner of Acton Court, Nicholas Poyntz built a magnificent new East Wing on to the existing moated manor house to accommodate his monarch. The state apartments in this new wing were decorated lavishly and fashionably. Today, the East Wing comprises most of what remains at Acton Court and offers a rare example of C16 royal state apartments and some decorations which are reputed to be the finest of their kind in England.
The Poyntz family owned Acton Court from 1364 until 1680 when the direct line of succession ended and the house was sold. It was subsequently reduced in size and converted for use as a tenant farmhouse. Acton Court is believed to be the most ‘original’ Tudor house in Britain. In order to maintain the integrity of the building, as far as possible, it has been left in its original state.