Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameThornhill Hall, Dewsbury
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityKirklees
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishDewsbury

Thornhill Hall moat occupies the north-east corner of Thornhill Rectory Park in the Thornhill area of Dewsbury. In addition to the moat and central island, the monument contains a number of related features. These include a remnant of an earlier open-field system, the site of the formal gardens of the seventeenth century hall and the site of its bowling green. Deposits relating to ancillary and agricultural buildings survive outside this scheduling to the east. These are not at present included in the scheduling as their precise location and extent is uncertain. The moated site itself consists of a trapezoidal island measuring c.70m by 60m at its widest point and surrounded by a partially water-filled ditch varying between 5m and 30m wide and up to c.4m deep. A series of partial excavations were carried out between 1964 and 1972 when the remains of two houses on slightly different alignments were discovered. The earlier was a large thirteenth century timber-framed hall with clay-bonded foundation walls. The later was a stone-built building of H-plan which showed signs of being reconstructed in c.1600 when it was given a paved floor, plaster walls and a chimney. The remains of the fireplace and solar, or private apartment, of the later hall are still standing and are Grade II Listed. A site survey carried out in 1964 revealed a bridge abutment on the north side of the island while, on the south side, the remains of a gatehouse were uncovered indicating that there were two bridging points across the moat. Excavation also revealed a wall round the island along the east side and also most of the south side. This wall was demolished in c.1600 and the gate rebuilt with a porter's lodge on the west side. The bridges would have been timber and their remains will be preserved in the water-logged deposits of the ditch along with other organic and environmental material

The ditch itself dates to c.1450 and is therefore of similar date to the first stone house but later than the thirteenth century timber-framed hall. The moat also post-dates an earlier field-system which may be contemporary with the thirteenth century hall or even earlier. The remains of this can be seen to the south of the moat where traces of ridge and furrow cultivation survive as faint linear earthworks lying at right-angles to the moat and clearly truncated by it. Also to the south are the issues which feed the moat while a drain lies midway along the west side. Immediately to the north is the site of the seventeenth century bowling green noted on Saxton's map of c.1600 while, to the west, lies an area recorded by Saxton as 'New Orchard'. Orchard was a term often used of formal gardens as well as fruit orchards, and three terraces running parallel with and respecting the west flank of the moat have been interpreted as the formal gardens of the later hall. Thornhill was the principal seat of the Savile family from the fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, having been acquired by Henry Savile upon his marriage to Elizabeth de Thornhill. It became the main administrative centre of the Savile estate and remained so until 1648 when, either accidentally or as a deliberate ploy to prevent the besieging Parliamentarian army from capturing it, it was burned to the ground, after which the site was abandoned in favour of Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire. (Scheduling Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceSE256188
Latitude53.6658706665039
Longitude-1.61356997489929
Eastings425630
Northings418890
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 58.28" Longitude -1° 36' 43.16"

Thornhill Hall Barn 03072017 104254.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury 03072017 101905.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.46"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury 03072017 110921.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-10 03072017 103211.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-11 03072017 103240.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.46"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-12 03072017 110921.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-2 03072017 101947.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-3 03072017 102016.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-4 03072017 102054.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-5 03072017 102105.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-6 03072017 102218.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-7 03072017 102420.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-8 03072017 102458.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 53° 39' 57.6" Longitude -1° 36' 47.45"

Thornhill Hall, Dewsbury-9 03072017 102557.Jpg

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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 104
  • Ingham, Bernard, 2001, Bernard Ingham's Yorkshire Castles (Dalesman) p. 27
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 532
  • Ryder, P.F., 1982 (paperback edn 1992), The Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire (Ash Grove Book) p. 108-22
  • Nuttall, B., 1970, A Histroy of Thornhill
  • Pevsner, N. (Revised by Radcliffe, Enid), 1967, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: West Riding (London, Penguin) p. 503

Journals

  • (Gilkes), 1975, 'Medieval Britain in 1974' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 19 p. 252-3 online copy
  • 1965, 'Medieval Britain in 1964' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 9 p. 206 online copy

Other

  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 763 online copy