The Hawking Tower

A Gothic folly and gatehouse built between 1739 and 1756, this three storey tower is built in the style of a church based on a design by Horace Walpole. The gate piers to the entrance originally stood here and carried the heraldic stone figures of the lion and griffin of the Earls of Strafford but have since been moved to another gateway to the Hall in the village.

lion griffin

The original gate piers of the Hawking Tower entrance, now have their home in the village

Eggs and chicks of birds of prey were quite rare and expensive, and since the process of raising and training a hawk or falcon takes a lot of time and money and space, it was more or less restricted to the noble classes and this folly would have been used to protect them as well as provide the Earl and his visitors with an entertaining sport. The nesting boxes were only reachable by an outer staircase to a doorway in the loft room.Historical novelist, George John Whyte-Melville (1821-1878) often stayed in this tower for inspiration. Holmby House was published in 1860 and known for its historical tales set around Boughton as well as the Althorpe and Holdenby estates. Since about 1940 though, this tower has been converted into a private residence.