Sunday, 11 September 2011

Paull Holme Tower

Today we visited the Paull Holme Tower as part of the annual Heritage Open Days that have become increasingly popular, and which began in England in 1994 to celebrate the community surrounding many different buildings and places that you may never have heard of. Many places are open to the public on other days of the year also, but this is the only time that admission is free.

Paull Holme Tower is a relic of a building, hidden from view of the main road and probably not even known to that many local residents. Certainly, I would not have known about it if it had not been for the Heritage Open Days. It is a 30ft high, 3 storey structure (although the 3rd storey is not much more than a crumbling walkway of about 10feet long, with nothing to support you as you tread precariously along in the howling wind!)

I took my camera, and as we entered from the rather small hole at the rear of the tower, I could see just how much of a ruin this place has become. The brickwork in the ceiling on the ground floor is sagging so much that you can almost hear the bricks slowly working their way free. Interestingly, a crate of hard hats was placed outside the tower for visitors to wear - but us hardy Brits obviously ignored that, as I saw not one person with a plastic dome adorning their crown!

The "crouch to enter" doorway into the Tower.
Once inside, the ground floor wasn't very inspiring, especially since it was extremely dark in there - despite the fact that a lamp had been fixed into position on the floor via a generator. I made my way up the very steep stone steps to the 2nd floor - where there was a tree growing through the floor, causing even more problems with conservation of the building. I liked the look of this chinese/japanese styled tile which seemed to be a remnant of the original floor:

Originally part of a 15th Century fortified manor house, Paull Holme Tower once had two towers, a moat, crenellations and belonged to the Holme family until 1928. They lived in the manor house until approximately 1700 when it passed through various tenants. A Grade 1 listed monument, the building is now owned by a local resident, Simon Taylor, who is hoping to raise funds by forming a trust to help preserve the building. This would seem to be an almost impossible task, especially since it has been described by English Heritage as being in "very bad" condition, and its priority status has been classified as A(A) which signifies that it is at "immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric; no solution agreed."  I can see what they mean - everywhere you look, there are crumbling walls, floors, archways. Yet still I can see the beauty of such a place. Ruins have always held a fascination for me, even more so when I was a child and my imagination would run riot. I'd sometimes get a very strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, imagining who'd lived there (wherever I was, however old the building) and what had taken place prior to my visit. I got a similar feeling today, and was very glad we made the effort to go there.

You can see a video clip of the tower, taken by Seaside Radio who are based in Withernsea - which also includes an interview with the owner, Simon Taylor - by clicking on this link.

Looking up to the 3rd floor from the 2nd floor.

On the 2nd floor
Looking down to the 2nd floor from the top.

One of the view across the landscape from the top of the tower.
I really hope this tower gets restored, it would be nice to have something like this so close to home.

To finish our Heritage Open Day, we visited an exhibition in the village of Sutton-on-Hull, and Keith was delighted when we spotted an identity book in one of the display cabinets belonging to an old friend of his Mother's - he remembers walking to the village of Sutton when he was a child and visiting the house she lived in. The exhibition was a history of the village, and took place in the Old School in Church Street, which is open every Friday, so we shall now make another trip to see even more history in the future!


  1. Thank you Cherry. I was lucky the sun was out and the sky was blue - gave the building a great backdrop!

  2. Wow, amazing! Lovely photos too. x

  3. Yeah, I was impressed by the fact that I'd not heard of this ruin yet it's so near to us! Thanks!


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