Thornhill Hall

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Thornhill Hall is a ruined medieval manor house on a moated island located in Rectory Park, Thornhill, West Yorkshire, England. The ruins are listed as grade II. [1] and the moat, with the surrounding grounds, is a scheduled monument. [2]

Manor house country house that historically formed the administrative centre of a manor

A manor house was historically the main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a manor in the European feudal system; within its great hall were held the lord's manorial courts, communal meals with manorial tenants and great banquets. The term is today loosely applied to various country houses, frequently dating from the late medieval era, which formerly housed the gentry.

Thornhill, West Yorkshire village in Dewsbury, Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England

Thornhill is a village and former township in Dewsbury, Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Thornhill was absorbed into Dewsbury County Borough in 1910. It is located on a hill on the south side of the River Calder, and has extensive views of Dewsbury, Ossett and Wakefield. It is known for its collection of Anglo-Saxon crosses.

West Yorkshire County of England

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.


Excavations carried out between 1964 and 1972 proved that there had been two halls on the island, an earlier large 13th-century building with clay-bonded foundation walls, and a later c. 1450 stone H-plan building. The later building showed signs of renovation in the 16th century, when a paved floor, plaster walls and a chimney were added.


This is the original coat of arms for the Thornhill Family, before they intermarried with the Saviles. Thornhill coat of arms.jpg
This is the original coat of arms for the Thornhill Family, before they intermarried with the Saviles.

In the reign of Henry III, Thornhill Hall was the seat of the Thornhill family, who intermarried with the De Fixbys and Babthorpes in the reigns of Edward I and Edward II. In 1370, in the reign of Edward III, Elizabeth Thornhill, the only child of Simon Thornhill, married Sir Henry Savile. This extinguished the family line of Thornhills of Thornhill which now passed down the Savile line. Thornhill Hall then became the principal seat of the powerful Savile family.

The Saviles later intermarried with the Calverley family, so that when Sir John Savile died in 1503 in Thornhill, he left provision in his will for his sister Alice, who had married Sir William Calverley. [3]

George Savile was created a baronet in 1611. The Saviles remained here until the English Civil War when in 1643 the house was besieged by the forces of Parliament, (having been previously fortified by Sir William Savile, the third baronet of the family). In August 1643 troops of Lady Anne Savile, under Capt. Thos. Paulden defended the hall against the Parliamentary forces under Col. Sir Thos. Fairfax. They were forced to surrender but the hall was accidentally blown up and destroyed. after which the family moved their seat to Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire. [4]

English Civil War Civil war in England (1642–1651)

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") principally over the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it united with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Sir William Savile, 3rd Baronet of Thornhill was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1640 and 1642. He fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War and was killed in action.

Some ruins of the house and the moat still remain at Thornhill Rectory Park. [5] This large house had a secret underground passage, that lead to Thornhill Parish Church. just a few hundred yards away from the park. The passage remained until the early 1990s when it was filled in due to safety reasons.

Recent events

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant to the architectural study of the ruins in the summer of 2011. [6]

Images of the ruined Hall

Part of ruined wall [7] Chimney stack [8]


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Coordinates: 53°39′58″N1°36′49″W / 53.666137°N 1.613566°W / 53.666137; -1.613566