Pilkington in Wakefield

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House, and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NamePilkington in Wakefield
Alternative NamesPylkyngton Hall; Snapethorpe Old Hall
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityWakefield
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishWakefield

A licence to crenellate was granted to John Pylkington in 1477 for his manor called 'Pylkyngton Hall' in the parish of Wakefield.

Gatehouse Comments

Gatehouse was informed by John Goodchild this was the manor house of Snapethorpe. Christopher Saxton's 1601 plan of Thomas Pilkington's estate shows the site of of the Old Hall and, close by but separate, a tower (Evans, 1979). Pilkington had acquired the manor of Snaypthorp and Lupset in 1474. He died at the end of 1478. In his will Pilkington Hall nigh Wakefield with Snapethorpe was left to his wife providing she lived there. The tower, said to be built in 1477, was pulled down in 1724 (Walker, 1934). The form of the tower is not clear but it is likely to have been crenellated and probably had other defensive features. The separate mention of Pilkington Hall and Snapethorpe may suggest the tower was intended as a separate dwelling, possibly a replacement to the old Snapethorpe Hall. Possibly the old hall was retained as either ancillary accommodation or was intended to be demolished when the new house was finished. Sir John's death only 18 months after the licence was granted might suggest the tower was only part of the intended house (cf. Kirby Muxlow Castle). Alternatively the tower may represent an elaborate gate lodge into the estate. Snapethorpe Hall (SE307200) was demolished in the mid 1970's, although that building was certainly one of several rebuilds. It does not seem to ever have been described as having any defensive features (such as a moat). The given map reference is for the approximate position of the tower as shown on Saxton's 1601 'Plat'. Although described as in Wakefield this was not a town house (as previously assumed by Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE313202
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No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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Calculate Print


  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 422
  • Evans, I.M and Lawrence, H., 1979, Christopher Saxton, Elizabethan map-maker (Wakefield Historical Publications) p. 113, 114-115
  • Walker, J.M., 1934, Wakefield, its History and People (West Yorkshire Printing Co.) Vol. 2 p. 659-63
  • Pilkington, John, 1912 (3edn), History of The Pilkington Family of Lancashire p. 75, 76 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1901, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III (1476-85) p. 71 online copy
  • 1601 Snapethorpe Hall. A plat of Mr. Pilkington his landes, belonging to the old Haule and new Haule, in the parish of Waikfeild,. Made by Christofer Saxton


  • Goodchild, John, 16 July 2008, 'Pray for his Soul: A Medieval Adventurer, Sir John Pilkington of Wakefield' Talk given at the Pilkington Chatry in Wakefield Cathedral for the Wakefield Historical Society.