Paull Holme Tower was originally part of a medieval manor house that was the centrepiece of an estate owned by the Holme family. It was one of a series of towers built on the east coast of England to serve as status symbols and prestige accommodation. It fell into ruin during the early twentieth century.



Paull Holme Tower was once the centrepiece of a medieval estate that occupied an area of several hundred acres. It came into the ownership of the Holme family during the thirteenth century and at some point thereafter they built a rectangular moat to surround the manorial buildings. This was a common form of defensive measure during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries with the surviving earthworks at Paull Holme representing a classic example of its kind. The tower itself dates from the fifteenth century and was possibly built by John Holme, who inherited the property circa-1405, to mark his marriage to Elizabeth Wasteney. This is supported by a coat of arms visible on the tower which has the Holme family impaling that of Wasteney. However, John died in 1438 and comparison of the architectural features of the tower with similar structures, such as Rochford Tower near Boston, suggests a slightly later date of construction.


The tower was never intended to stand alone and was originally part of a larger, possibly part timber, medieval manor house which occupied the northern portion of the rectangular moated area. Three storeys high, the ground floor consisted of a brick vaulted chamber with fireplace whilst accommodation occupied the levels above. A portcullis was added to augment the entrance but, whilst functional, it is almost certain this was decorative rather than having any practical defensive function. Indeed the primary purpose of the tower was to serve as prestige accommodation hence its construction in brick, a premium building material at that time. Similar towers can be seen further to the south with surviving examples at Hussey Tower, Rochford Tower, South Kyme Tower and Woodhill Spa Tower whilst a much grander example can be seen at Tattershall Castle.


Paull Holme Tower underwent significant modification in 1871 when the structure was converted into a Summer house by Colonel Bryn Holme. New windows and doorways installed at this time were constructed in stone (limestone ashlar) rather than brick. The conversion was not a success however as, despite the new windows and plastering inside the structure, it remained poorly lit. By the early twentieth century the tower was an abandoned roofless ruin but a grant from English Heritage in 2014 has helped stabilise the structure.




Allison, K.J (1984). The Victoria History of the County of York: East Riding.

Douglas, D.C and Rothwell, H (ed) (1975). English Historical Documents Vol 3 (1189-1327). Routledge, London.

Historic England (1994). Paull Holme moated site and tower. List entry Number: 1007875. Historic England, London.

Historic England (20). Paulle Holme Tower. List entry Number: 1366242. Historic England, London.

King, C.D.J (1983). Castellarium anglicanum: an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands.  Kraus International Publications.

Poulson, G (1840). The History and Antiquities of Holderness.

Ryder, J (1982). Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire. East Riding Archaeologist.


What's There?

Paull Holme Tower is on private land with no public access but can be viewed from adjacent rights of way.

Paull Holme Tower. The tower was originally part of a large medieval manor house. The 1871 modifications, which were constructed from limestone ashlar rather than brick, can be clearly seen.

Entrance. The entrance had slots for a functional portcullis.

Getting There

Paull Holme Tower can be found just off the junction between Dark Lane and Thorngumbald Road to the south-east of the village of Paull. It is not sign-posted for vehicular traffic but a public right of way that leads towards the tower is marked. On-road parking is possible.

Car Parking Option

Thorngumbald Road, HU12 8AX

53.708004N 0.208110W

Paull Holme Tower

HU12 8AX

53.706623N 0.207110W