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Pilkington in Wakefield

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Pylkyngton Hall; Snapethorpe Old Hall

In the civil parish of Wakefield.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Wakefield.
1974 county of West Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE313202
Latitude 53.67763° Longitude -1.52727°

Pilkington in Wakefield has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a probable Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.


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

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1477 May 28 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


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 Gatehouse) but a manor house in the exceptional large parish of Wakefield.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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