Temple Manor, Temple Hirst

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameTemple Manor, Temple Hirst
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishTemple Hirst

Remains of a preceptory of the Knights Templars. The preceptory was founded in 1152 and suppressed 1308-12, at which time it comprised a hall, chapel, kitchen, larder and outbuildings. A three storey stair turret, built in the 15th/16th century, adjoins a six bay range, probably built in the late 17th century, re-using medieval materials. The two storey house is brick-built, with a two storey central porch on the south front containing a Norman doorway. The house was altered and remodelled circa 1980. Fishponds, associated with the site, but no longer extant, are also recorded. (PastScape)

Late medieval brick house remnant" of house called castle in C16 "of several turrets and a moat. (Salter)

Remains of brick fortified house built in the late 15th century on the site of a 12th century Templars' preceptory. Moated site, protected by a number of brick turrets of which two remain, flanking a short range rebuilt as a house in the 18th century. (Emery)

House. C17 including masonry from a Knights Templar Preceptory (late C12- C13) and a C15-C16 tower of the fortified manor house of the Darcy family. Extensive renovations and alterations c.1980 as a public house and then subsequently as a nursing home.


Tower of reddish-orange narrow brick with pinkish-brown brick house in irregular English garden wall bond with magnesian limestone dressings and plinth beneath a pantile roof. Includes a reset, Norman, magnesium limestone doorway.


Two storey house with a through passage plan with a single bay to the east with a stack backing onto the passage, and two bays to the west, the westernmost bay with an end stack. The southern entry to the through passage via a 2 storey porch; the single storey porch to the northern entry is modern and not of special interest. Attached to the east gable is a 3 storey octagonal tower with a 2 storey lean-to to the south

The modern extension to the west gable is not of special interest.


South elevation: The 2 storey porch is gabled with low, dentilated parapets to the sides. The porch is stone quoined and has a dentilated brick storey band. The doorway is Norman Romanesque with a single order of nook shafts with eroded capitals supporting an inset moulded arch with a further moulded arch beyond, flush with the wall face, with this in turn protected by a hoodmould. The first floor window is a modern insert of 6 panes. The two bays to the west have 6 over 6 hornless sash windows to both floors with brick cills and modern lintels faced with brick. The dentilated parapet is continued from the porch, but not the storey band. The upper brickwork is regular and has a higher proportion of dark coloured bricks than found to the ground floor, probably indicating the extent of late C20 rebuilding. To the west there is a stepped buttress incorporating stonework which is thought to be a surviving part of the C15/C16 fortified manor house. The end stack is brick. The bay to the east of the porch has an inserted French window to the ground floor and a 6 over 6 hornless sash window to the first floor. Brickwork around this window suggests that this was originally a shorter, wider window, probably mullioned. A vertical break in the brickwork on the ground floor to the west of the French window may indicate a further previous window opening. The ridge stack on the western side of the bay is brick. The east gable is stone quoined as is the lower part of the 2 storey lean-to to the tower which is slightly set back from the main elevation. This lean-to is under a continuous roof with the main part of the house and also has a dentilated storey band and parapet. Its two windows are modern inserts of 6 panes. Tower: This has a higher stone plinth than the rest of the house that is cut by an inserted doorway to the east. There is a small, square headed, chamfered window to the 2nd floor in the north eastern wall, and two larger and similarly detailed windows in the north wall at ground/1st floor and 1st/2nd floor levels. The tower is topped by a modern rebuilt battlemented parapet surrounding a plain tiled conical roof. East gable: Excepting the tower, the gable is blind. The gable is raised and coped. North elevation: This lacks the stone plinth and first floor band, but has a dentilated low parapet. The brickwork is mainly stretcher bond, probably indicating modern rebuild. The windows (4 to first floor, 3 below) are similarly detailed to the sash windows of the south elevation. The off-centre single storey porch is entirely modern and not of special interest, but is reasonably sympathetic. West gable: The ground floor is concealed by the modern extension which is not of special interest, with the rest concealed by modern render. The end stack, which is not rendered, is partially external to the gable.


The interior of the house has been extensively altered and retains little of special interest. Access to the roof was not possible at the time of inspection, but any surviving pre-C19 roof structure will add to the special interest of the building. The tower retains a partially collapsed oak newel stair ascending from the first floor. This stair contributes to the interest of the building.


The stonework incorporated into the building is thought to have been derived from a preceptory of the Knights Templars who acquired the site in 1152, developing it into an administrative centre for a large estate with property spread across several parishes in the Vale of York. The Order of the Knights Templars were suppressed in 1312 and Temple Hirst was forfeited. In 1337 it was granted by the king to Sir John Darcy and it was held by the Darcy family as their principal residence until the execution of Thomas, Lord Darcy in 1537 as a result of his involvement with the Pilgrimage of Grace. The Darcy family was a minor gentry family who nonetheless had a succession of members with close connections to the crown. The tower and possibly the western buttress survive from the fortified manor house built by the Darcy family in the C15 and is one of a number of similarly dated high status brick houses in the region (others being Riccall Manor house, Bishopthorpe Palace, Cawood Castle and Paull Holme Tower). Although there are a number of historical records concerning Temple Hirst in the C16 and earlier, it is not known who held Temple Manor in the C17 when the fortified house was extensively rebuilt. The 1789 Enclosure Plan shows additional buildings that were demolished in the C20 which C19 writers thought incorporated remains of the medieval preceptory. C19 Ordnance Survey maps show additional farm buildings which have also been subsequently cleared. It is suggested that Temple Manor was the inspiration for Templestowe in Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe.


The house will overlie buried remains of the Templar Preceptory and further remains of the later fortified manor house of the Darcys. At the time of inspection these buried archaeological remains cannot be included within the listing although they contribute to the special interest of the standing building. Although English Heritage guidance is that all positively identified preceptories with surviving archaeological remains are regarded as being of national importance and thus eligible for scheduling, but the extent of survival at Temple Hirst is currently too poorly understood for a scheduling to be proposed. The preceptory will have extended over an area far beyond the footprint of the current building, possibly as far as the current road to the north, a marked break of slope to the south and an area of former medieval fishponds to the east. However currently there is insufficient evidence for archaeological survival within the surrounding area to justify formal designation by scheduling. (Listed Building Report)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE596251
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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 103
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 403
  • Ryder, P.F., 1982 (paperback edn 1992), The Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire (Ash Grove Book) p. 108-22
  • Knowles, David and Hadcock, R Neville, 1971, Medieval religious houses in England and Wales (Longman) p. 238
  • Pevsner, N., 1959, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: West Riding (London) p. 501
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1913, VCH Yorkshire Vol. 3 p. 259 (Preceptory) online transcription
  • Worsfold, J.N., 1894, History of Haddlesey: its Past and Present p 22, 46-8 (illus) online copy


  • Burton, J.E., 1991 'The Knights Templar in Yorkshire in the twelfth century: a reassessment' Northern History Vol. 27 p. 28
  • Chetwynd-Stapleton, H.C., 1889, 'The Templars at Temple Hirst' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 10 p. 276-86 online copy