Hound Hill

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameHound Hill
Alternative NamesHoundhill
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityBarnsley
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishWorsbrough

This 16thC house on an earlier site occupies a hill slope platform below/to E. of road adjacent to which is one of two round towers, the other, now a stump, adjoining the house. Puzzingly unfollylike like in their plain and utilitarian air, they, and a moatlike air about arrangements to the E. of the house may may reflect the 16thC fortification for the king in the Civil War (Wilkinson) or perpetuate the essence or earlier defences in site if not style and detail. (Sneyd 1995)

"Houndhill is a pile of buildings old and dilapidated, some portions of which are built in the wood and plaster style of former ages. This is a very old residence of the family of Elmhirst, for in Richard Elmhirst's instructions, written in 1638, it is stated that 'Houndhill and Elmhirst are both coppihould and had been demised to his ancestors for 12 descents last past.'

"Roger Elmhirst (died 1594), was succeeded by his son Robert (died 1618)"... and probably about this time a great portion of the present building would be erected. Across one of the gables is a large beam, on which is inscribed the date, 1066; but there is a far greater probability that the date should be 1606 ...... Richard Elmhirst ... succeeded to Houndhill ... in 1618 ... and in the civil wars fortified his house at Houndhill for the king, and kept forty soldiers in arms to defend it. During the civil wars an attack was made upon Houndhill (probably in 1643) by Sir Thomas Fairfax and a detachment of Parliamentarian troops ...."

Part of the walls and turrets still remain (Wilkinson).

The remains of this Tower are in quite good condition, being about 6ft in height.

It appears to have been preserved at some recent date (S.S. 6" (Reviser 18.1.51)).

Of the towers, the south-easterly one has been reduced to a height of 2.0 m.; the north-westerly one is in good condition (F1 RE 01-APR-60).

The earlier part of house is timber framed, post and pan is C16/17

Ground floor is of stone with 6-light stone mullion and transom windows. The remainder is stone built, stone roof, 2 storeys. Stone mullion windows and some early C19 sash windows. Well restored. Detached in garden is a round stone tower (Listed Building Report).

Excavation of weavers workshop, documentary evidence indicates that this site may have been used in the mid-16th century, though the archaeological remains are of the 18th century, when weaving was re-established on the site (Ashurst 1979). (PastScape)

Manor house. Wing dated 1566 otherwise of two C17 builds, extensively renovated in 1934. Timber-framed wing, otherwise ashlar sandstone, stone slate roof. H-plan. 2 storeys, partially with cellars and attics, 2 : 1 : 1 windows to 1st floor. Narrow central recess has doorway on left with chamfered jambs and deep lintel; double-chamfered cross-window on its right, 4-light mullioned window over. Gabled wing on left has chamfered plinth and sashes with glazing bars to each floor in altered double-chamfered surrounds, ground-floor dripmould is cut back, lst-floor window on right is in position of former doorway. Shaped kneelers and gable copings with renewed finials. Gabled wing on rights corner posts flank c1934 6-light transomed window in ground-floor walling. Rendered upper storey with coved apron to 5-light transomed window; coving beneath tie beam of A-strut king-post truss with wall-plate ends set on shaped brackets, recut inscription 'R 1566 E' on tie beam, bargeboards with wooden finial. Corniced ashlar ridge stacks to each wing, stack to left on central ridge. Rear: similar. Chamfered ground-floor dripmould, inscription 'DAIRY' over window in ashlar wing. Exposed timber-framing to upper storey of C16 wing, tie beam inscribed 'LKE 1934 DWE'. Ashlar gable has base for diagonally-set end stack. Right return: all but ground-floor-left wall has exposed timber framing. Door between 2 posts which flank the ridge stack. Wooden 4-light transomed window on right. Chevron struts above mid-rail, vertical studding and coving beneath two lst-floor windows of 4-lights, that to left transomed. lst-floor mid-rail with vertical studs above, 2-light window above door.

Interior: entrance hall has exposed framing of wing and ashlar fireplace; balustraded dog-leg staircase incorporating some early work. Ashlar fireplaces in framed wing and elsewhere in house, one has segmental arch. Much C17 panelling with guilloche and foliage frieze decorations. Home of the Elmhirst family, initials on front tie beam are those of Roger Elmhirst or his son Robert (d1618). Richard Elmhurst (d1653) fortified the house for his own family. Ashlar wing said to have been used as a wool store evidence of which would be the lst-floor gable doorway. Foundations of a C16-C17 dyeing and weaving workshop are exposed near the rear-right corner of the house. An additional date of 1606 was recorded in the 1934 renovation. Outstanding house of the region which, after a period of 250 years, has returned to the Elmhirst family. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Was a medieval manor house but no actual evidence this was fortified despite Sneyd's suggestion. The supposed C17 Civil War defensive towers are most unlikely to have been built during the Civil War (the house surrendered without resistance when Parliamentary troops arrived) but were probably built after the Restoration in a 'military' style, but as garden features, to show the royal loyalties of the family.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceSE332041
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Hey, David, 2015, A History of South Yorkshire Countryside (Barnsley: Pen and Sword Local) p. 87-89
  • Sneyd, Steve, 1995, The Devil's Logbook Castles and Fortified Sites around South Yorkshire (Hilltop Press) p. 12
  • Wilkinson, J., 1872, Worsbrough: Its Historical Associations and Rural Attractions (Barnsley) p. 128-9, 131, 146


  • Jones, S.R., 1980, 'Houndhill, Worsbrough' Archaeological Journal Vol. 137 p. 442-444
  • Ashurst, D., 1979, Post Medieval Archaeology Vol. 13 p. 227-38