- Acton, Wrexham
The residential area neighbours other villages such as Garden Village,
Rhosddu, Borrasand Little Acton. The area of Acton consists of a large open park called Acton Park.
The estate did not remain within the Cunliffe family ownership and has passed through several owners throughout the years. The Jeffreys family lived at
Acton Hallin the 17th century. The most famous member of the family being the notorious Hanging Judge Jeffreys, who gained his nickname because of the punishment he handed out at the trials of the supporters of the Duke of Monmouth. In 1688 when James II fled the country, Jeffreys was placed in the Tower of Londonfor his own safety. He died there the following year at 44 of kidney disease. Judge Jeffrey's ghost is said to haunt Acton Park as it is said to do at many of the homes that he lived in.
In 1947 the Council was presented with the hall and parklands by, the then owner,
AldermanWilliam Aston. By then the grounds had become very overgrown and a programme of restoration was implemented.
Acton Park is a landscaped Parkland with mature specimen trees and gently undulating expanses of grass areas with recent tree planting. There are also areas of ornamental shrubberies, and wild bulb planting. It is often referred to locally as Acton.
The park land was originally laid out in 1785 by the landowner
Sir Foster Cunliffe. The whole park was enclosed within a stone wall and were the grounds of Acton Hall. Acton was designed by James Wyatt (For Cunliffe). Many of the beautiful mature specimen trees which survive today were planted at this time and the general park layout and picturesque positioning of the lake were part of the original park layout.
The house was rebuilt between 1687- 1695 and enlarged in 1786-7. The park was created in the 1790s.
The house suffered from a variety of uses during the early 20th century. William Aston tried to find a new use for it after the First World War. The house was demolished in 1954. Only the gateway and lodges now remain. The local "civic amenity site" now occupies the land where the house once stood.
Judge Jeffreys led an eventful life and made many enemies. In 1680 he became Chief Justice of Chester, despite 'being the worst that ever disgraced the bench.' Charles II damned Jeffreys' character. " He has no learning, no sense, no manners and has more impudence than ten street walkers."
Yet Charles II made him Lord Chief Justice of all England in 1683. Two years later, Jeffreys ensured his name would go down in history. He presided over the
Bloody Assizesin 1685. Monmouth and his Protestant supporters had rebelled against James II and had lost. Jeffreys presided over the trials of the captured rebels. Nearly 300 were executed and hundreds shipped off as slaves to the West Indies. In folk history, Jeffreys revelled in his power and is said to have extorted money from the families of the accused as they asked for mercy.
In 2008, Acton Park and Wrexham County Borough Council secured Heritage Lottery Funding to allow them to prepare design prosposals for the refurbishment of the park, the ideas that have been drawn up so far are in the early stages but they include a Discovery Centre, Lakeside Pavillion and extending the bowling greens.
A designated area managed to benefit wildlife as one of the Wrexham Bio-diversity Action Plan 'Urban Green Space' areas. Native wild meadow flowers have been planted to the existing grass to assist in providing habitats for insects and other fauna , increasing the bio-diversity of the parkland.
Between 1930 & 1970, about half of the park was developed as an area for housing. The remaining 55 acres of the original estate forms the majority of the present day park. Recently, 2005, the Acton Hall as been rebuilt by
Bloorhomesand has been sold off as apartments, there is also a small number of houses to the back of the hall which is still within the original boundaries of working Acton Hall. A number of the 'older' work houses can still be seen within the grounds.
Public Houses in Acton
* The Acton Park Public House,
* The Four Dogs
* The Cunliffe
Schools in Acton
Acton Park Junior School
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3552154 photos of Acton, Wrexham and surrounding area on geograph]
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