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Cannon Hall (Barnsley)

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9 Reviews

Barnsley / South Yorkshire / S70 2TA / England

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    9 Reviews
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      27.01.2014 19:51
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      An enjoyable day our for all.

      Having recently visited cannon hall farm i thought i would write my review while our day out is still fresh in my mind.

      Living in Yorkshire (west) we found there are lots of days out and things to do with the kids around here (and having 3 we need to keep them busy) so having had a few friends recommended cannon hall for a day out we thought we would give it a try.

      We visited in the month of January (not such a wise idea) on a Saturday and we expected it to be a little busy with it being a weekend but was hoping it would be quieter than the summer months.

      Cannon hall farm is about 5 miles west of Barnsley and is in an area of Barnsley called Cawthorne. We were traveling from just outside Leeds and it took us about 25 minutes to get there in good traffic, there's some lovely views of the scenery too on the way.

      When we arrived at about 11am we were greeted by a very nice young lady who directed us where to go and also took the parking payment off us (£3 but it can be redeemed back if you spend over £10 in the cafe). There was about a 3 min walk from the car park to the entrance area but we decided our first stop would be the cafe as we were all very hungry.

      We were a party of 3 adults and 3 children (Littlest wasn't eating tho being only 4 months old and asleep). Upon first impression the cafe was clean, airy and well presented. There were lots of places to sit and plenty of space for a pram to be pushed around without dragging chairs behind you and having to ask people to move which is great as this is so rare now-a-days. We sat down at a nice window seat and started to look over the menu. Me and my mum decided to have something off the breakfast menu (which was available till 11.30 so we just caught it), we both settled on sausage, bacon and poached egg on toast (without the egg for me though) which was priced at £4.95 and my lovely hubby had a sausage and cheese pannini and chips priced at £6.50. The boys also had a sausage roll each which was £1.75. We didn't think the food was too badly priced but when going up to buy the food we discovered the price of the drinks. £1.50 for a bottle of coke and £1.10 for a small fruit shoot which i thought were very overpriced. We waited about 20mins for our food and it was served to our table.

      It was very yummy and you could tell it had been made with good quality ingredients. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals despite the rather large price tag so next we decided to hit the farm.

      We found the entrance just around the corner from the cafe and paid to get in. The prices vary during different seasons (and school holidays) but it was £4.95 for the adults and our 4 year old but was free for under 3's so not bad price for a day out. We walked around and our first stop was some rabbits, the lady there got one out so the boys could have a stroke (of the rabbit) which they really enjoyed. Then next door there was a pretend milking parlour where you can have a go at milking a (pretend) cow, again the boys thought this was great fun. We moved on through the rest of the farm and found there was lots to animals and barns to be explored. From little piglets to lamas and turkeys. We spend a good hour and a half walking round looking at all the different animals and even giving a few a pet (even if 1 lama decided the husbands coat was going to be lunch). The only slight downside was that it was slightly smelling but then you would come to expect that from a farm.

      We then discovered there was going to be ferret racing and everyone got a free bet on 1 of the 4 ferrets and surprisingly ours won but we didn't have the winning ticket which was a free entry to the farm to use in the future. There are lots of play areas for different ages of children to so that was our next stop. Sadly thought we didn't get long there until the heavens opened and it started to pour down but the boys loved the little time they got to have a run around.

      We decided to take shelter in the local gift/toy shop which was nothing special really, it had the usual pens with names on and over priced cuddly toys but it was dry and that's all that really mattered to us at the time. With the rain still pouring down we then went into the farm shop next door which was better. They sold all different meats, hams and pies, we treated ours selves to some specialty sausages and also some very nice looking pork steaks (which we still have yet to eat), we also got the boys a little chocolate bunny each. I was surprised to get change from a £10 note as it came to about £8 for everything so a good price for quality meat.

      With the rain just getting worse we thought we had better head for home which we were very disappointed about as we felt we could have spent a little longer looking round and my mum and I were looking forward to going to check on the piglets before going but it wasn't to be. We made a mad dash for the car but all got soaked so this put a slight downer on the day but it was kind of my fault choosing to go in January of all months. We stuck the heating on in the car and headed home (slightly on the wet side)

      We all really enjoyed our day out and the boys were soon asleep in the car home. I would love to go back again in the spring to see the baby lambs. The only advice I would give is this. . . Take your own drinks and maybe a picnic too if the weather is fine. A really good day out for all the family.

      I would rather give 4.5 stars for poor pricing but i don't think it should loose a whole star for this so from me and my family a 5 star day out.


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        03.09.2010 21:47
        Very helpful



        You'll be glad you have visited this area.

        As a stay at home mum, i am always on the look out for great places to take my kids to which will not cost a fortune to visit. This is one of those places that fits quite highly on the list. I have visited about 5 times, the most recent visit being Wednesday of this week.

        It is located in the Cawthorne area of Barnsley, about 10 minutes from Junction 37 of the M1. On entering the site, there is a small fee of £2.50 to park, but this includes a voucher worth £1.50 for the cafe on the site. We have eaten there and the food is good quality, or the voucher covers a drink.

        Cannon Hall itself is a museum. Up to now i have not visited the museum, but we have explored the country park and the open farm attached to the site.

        The grounds of the hall are lovely to walk through, and if you continue further you find the wide open green space of the country park. There is a large lake in the middle of the park, and the area is hugely popular with dog walkers, and groups of scouts/guides doing orienteering. We also found a few geocaches in the area when we visited.

        Sometimes there are special events held at the farm, such as Easter egg hunts. There was an event for Bank holiday Monday that was free to attend with child friendly family activities.

        The bit we visit most frequently is the open farm. This is quite a large site, and as well as your common farm animals they also house alpacas and llamas, and have a selection of guinea pigs and rabbits. My children used to really enjoy this but health and safety rules that have been introduced mean that you can no longer buy bags of food to feed the animals, and it is recommended that children under 6 do not touch the animals at all. This in my opinion has made it a bit boring for children in this age category, especially when they remember doing it on a previous visit.

        Cost to get into the farm is £4.25 for adults, and £3.95 for children over 3. This has recently increased to cover them not selling food anymore i guess. This is still a great price.

        For this you can use the open farm all day, and you can leave the farm and re-enter with a special stamp on your hand saying Farmer. My boys both liked this. Touring round the animals this time only took about an hour as they could only look and they got bored very quickly.

        The saving grace is the adventure playgrounds that they have on site. They cater for different aged children, and there are 4 different areas featuring climbing frames and slides. My children and my friends children would have happily played here all day. It was really busy so it was quite hard to keep track of where my boys were playing on the equipment, but it felt safe as the area is enclosed and i knew they couldn't get past me without me knowing. They like to climb a lot, and the equipment is sturdy, well maintained, and challenging enough for them to enjoy.

        No visit to Cannon Hall can be complete without a visit to the farm shop. They sell pies and meat from their own animals, lots of fresh veg, and really tasty ice cream. We always like to buy something to take home for our tea. The food is not cheap, but for the slightly higher than supermarket price, the quality is absolutely amazing.

        I would say if you have not visited this place before, it is worth going to as there is something for everyone on the whole site. I am going to knock one star off my recommendation as i think they are taking health and safety too far by removing the feeding and touching the animals. That is most of the appeal to young kids. There are enough hand washing places on site i feel for the individual parent to take resposibility for the health and safety of their child.


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        • More +
          11.12.2009 21:50
          Very helpful



          Fabulous day out!

          What is Cannon Hall Farm?
          Cannon Hall Farm is a fully functioning, working farm set in the Pennine hills in Barnsley. It is an award winning farm, and offers a great day out for the family.

          It is situated adjacent to Cannon Hall - however having never been in here as they don't allow pushchairs, I am unable to review this. My review will be solely on Cannon Hall Farm.


          It is 10 minutes off Junction 37 on the M1. The farm is signposted, and once you have reached Cannon Hall there is a large car park there, or you can follow the signs to "open farm" to be parked near to the Farm.
          There are 100s of car parking spaces, and there are disabled car parking spots which are located near the entrance. There is a parking attendant who will show you where to park after he has taken the fee from you. The car park is a couple of minutes walk from the entrance down a graveled driveway. There are also buses which travel to the farm.

          There is disabled access into the park, as there is pushchair. Where there are stairs, there is a separate ramp also.


          The prices are quite reasonable in my opinion, it is £3.50 for children, and £3.95 for adults. This is about standard for petting farms, this ticket price is solely for entering the farm. You can get your hand stamped to enable you to come in and out. Animal feed is 50p a bag, and this can last you your full visit.
          All other prices for cafe, shops etc I will cover in a separate section.

          You have to pay to park, it costs £3.00 - however the ticket entitles you to £1.50 off in the cafe, so there is scope to make some of your money back!

          What can I do here?

          There are many attractions to be found at Cannon Hall Farm:
          The Farm
          Cannon Hall Farm have invested millions to make it the best farm attraction in the country. There are lots of animals and due to the amount of baby animals being born every week you can always ensure to see new faces! In the Spring, the lambs are born every day. There are also piglets, even newborn ones on display with their mothers. In my opinion, its really nice to see, however its very noisy!
          My son always enjoys petting the horses, and foals, and there are chances to hold rabbits and guinea pigs. There pen is very low walled and its easy to stroke them. There are chickens, turkeys and hens.

          The pygmy goats really enjoy being fed, there seem to 1000s of them and can even squeeze through the fences for a pet! On a few occasions i've had a goat following me around. They are friendly though and never had a problem. There are several breeds of cattle, and calves are also on display. There is a large roundhouse, which houses all the cattle. This has recently been built and features a walk over bridge so you can look down into the roundhouse.
          The Kune Kune pigs are quite smelly, so i'd try not to get to close, however these also enjoy the feed that you can buy, so be brave!

          The farm has several health and safety notifications, rules such as remembering to wash your hands after feeding and stroking the animals, there are numerous wash stations dotted around the farm so there is no excuse for dirty hands! Plus, pregnant women should refrain from feeding the animals. Plus, do not eat or drink on the farm and children should be supervised. I feel these are simple rules, and ones you would do anyway regardless of being told too!
          The Cafe'
          As previously mentioned, your car parking ticket is worth £1.50 in the cafe so its always worth a visit, prices are so cheap so if you are just going in for a drink, on most occasions your car park ticket will cover the cost. The cafe is spacious with 250 seats indoors and 150 outdoors, has highchairs for babies and wheelchair access.

          They have hot and cold food, and all sausages, bacon and beefburgers are all produced in the farm shop, or sourced locally. Prices are reasonable, its around £3 for sandwiches and toasties, and £4.70 for a panini with chips. They offer a huge range, and for me to detail them all would take up the whole page. Hot meals, jacket potatoes, burgers and pies are a few of the things on the menu. Pricing is around £6.00-7.00 for full meals. Beverages are between 85p and £1.90.
          I've always been really happy with the service in the cafe, and the food is cheap and up too a good standard. Its real home cooking type food. The cafe has toilets, and baby change facilities.

          The Farm Shop
          The shop has been open for 10 years, and in this time has won a national butchery competition. Robert Webb, who is a supervisor at the farm shop, came away with the award of Best Beef Butcher. They sell over 20 varieties of sausages and dry cured bacon and ham, fresh fruit and vegetables sourced locally, and they stock a huge range of cookery items which beat retail prices on the high street. There is a huge selection of biscuits, jams, cooking sauces, coffees and teas and old fashioned sweets. I normally spend a long time looking through everything! I do find the farm shop to be a little expensive, but I do believe you get what you pay for.
          The Deli
          This is very similar to the farm shop but specialises in breads, pies, pastries, cheeses and cakes. Everything is fresh, and made on site. They also have lots of cooking sauces, olives, parma ham, quails eggs, and for the brave.... snails. Again, a little expensive. The only thing i've bought from here is a fresh pepper cooking sauce, this was around £4 and taste was delicious, and a freshly made family size steak pie which was £4, but again, tasty. A price worth paying for quality. They also stock lots of fine wine.

          Toy and Gift Shop
          This is situated as you leave the farm, but unlike most places they don't make you walk through it in order to leave! They have lots of childrens toys (which are mostly farm related) books, trinkets such as magnets, candles, glassware, soft toys, educational games, and they even have an ice cream counter inside. Prices again are quite reasonable, and its worth a look. I bought my son a soft book about ducks from in here, and it cost £3 which he loves.
          The Adventure Playground
          The adventure playground was improved in 2007 by the addition of £150,000. It is designed for children of all ages with slides, towers, climbing frames, and a special area for children aged 0-3 which is tailored more to their needs. Seating is available for parents around the playground area.


          The staff have always been friendly. The cafe staff are usually teenagers from the local area who are always willing to help, but sometimes can be quite aloof (thats teenagers for you!), but all other areas they are very friendly. The staff always ask you if everything is OK, and the ones who hold the rabbits for children to hold are great with the children.


          To get in and out of the farm, you need to go through a gate which really needs to be opened by an adult, as the farm is quite large, i'd recommend keeping an eye on your child, and because of roaming animals this is always a good idea!


          I'd defiantly recommend this farm to anyone wanting a day out. You can also visit the Cannon Hall Museum,and there are lots of beautiful areas to walk around such as the gardens. The farm is great, i've enjoyed every visit and try to get back every couple of months. Even though my son is only 8 months old, the joy he gets from seeing the animals is lovely, his face lights up and he talks to them. The goats sometimes try and nibble his hands, but I always keep an eye on them both! A really good day out, top marks.



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          15.09.2009 14:20
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          Great day for adults and kids

          Cannon Hall has so many things to do it is actually fun for all of the family.
          Cannon Hall is a beautiful country house in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, however not only does it have the house to visit there is also a large amount of outside area to explore including an open farm.
          The open farm is very well managed, having one door for entrance and one for exit makes life alot easier, especially when there are lots of children about. The prices are very resonable I can't remember exactly but it was definately less than £4 each and family tickets etc are available. Upon entry children get given a little bag of food (we got this free however I believe this is usually for a small cost), this is to feed the animals of their choice whilst they are exploring. They have a large variety of animals such as usual farms animals of Pigs, cows, Sheep then they also have Llamas, Alpacas,Shetland ponies and Wallabies to name a few. If you exit the farm all you do is stamp your hand and this allows you entrance into the farm again at any point, as many times as you like in one day.
          Whilst in the farm children have also the very large adventure playground to explore. The children loved this and this is also split up into sections so the smaller children don't get overwhelmed by the larger kids taking charge. There is plenty of seating available for adults aswell so you can sit and enjoy the weather...... if it's nice of course!
          When your getting a bit hungry there is a tea room which offer you a huge variation of food from sandwiches to yorkshire puddings! You do pay a little more in here however that is the norm with most visitor attractions. You do get alot of food for your money, and it is a nice treat whilst you are out.
          Before the end of your visit here I would highly recommend that you visit the farm shop and deli. The farm shop offers you lots of handmade foods and farm fresh meat which is all resonably price and makes a lovely meal. The deli offer handmade cakes and pies and a large range of cheeses that arn't available as easily as the more common.
          Aswell as all of the above there are quite often events on here which any one is welcome to - keep an eye on their website to see what is coming up!
          People of all ages will love this place, it's a great day at a small price.


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            14.06.2009 12:54
            1 Comment



            Get yourself there.

            Canon Hall is a great day out, especially if you have children to entertain. If you live in South or West Yorkshire then Canon Hall is within easy reach of you, and you should make the effort to pop along on a sunny day.

            As well as the house and grounds which you can explore and enjoy, Canon Hall has a working farm. For a small fee (I forget the exact amounts, but it's very reasonable) you can enter the farm area and feed the animals. There's all the usual farmyard favourites in attendance - cows, pigs, sheep, goats, birds and even a few llama. Plus, for smaller children who maybe be a little scared at the thought of feeding a cow, there are petting areas with guinea pigs, rabbits and the like that can be held under supervision.

            The farm area is well kept and managed, and has regular cleaning stations so you can get rid of any germs you may have picked up along the way.

            As you complete your tour of the farm, you can visit the onsite farm shop where you can pick up some beautiful local produce (if you can stomach it after having just stroked the animals that are now presented as chops!!) or you can take a stroll around the grounds and enjoy the views.

            All in all, Canon Hall is one of Barnsley's hidden gems and well worth a day out - even if you don't have kids!!


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              02.06.2009 10:53
              Very helpful



              I recommend anyone to visit with children and a picnic.

              Cannon Hall is a country house museum that was opened to the public in 1957 but has been in existence since the 13th century (although a house under another name was shown to be on this site in the 1086 Domesday Survey.) Surrounding the house is 70 acres of parkland and on the same site is an open farm.

              Situated near to the village of Cawthorne, part of the Barnsley Borough, Cannon Hall can be easily reached along the A635 from Barnsley town centre. It has ample parking in both the main and top car parks. Parking is £2.50 for cars and £5 for coaches but there is no charge for accessing the park, museum or gardens.

              The park is open all year round and is very popular. In summer the park is an ideal place for walking, picnics and games in the summer and is visited by hundreds of families. In winter it is no less beautiful and is a draw to dog walkers from the Barnsley area. I've been numerous times and have always found the park clean and tidy (very rarely a piece of rubbish lying around.) Also, a little mention to the park rangers there who spent two hours helping find my dog after he slipped his lead. Very helpful people!

              The museum is also worth a look with a collection of paintings, ceramics, glass and furniture including the painting "Mrs Tuder" by John Constable. Upstairs there is 'Charge' which is the museum of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and the Light Dragoons. It is all quite interesting and, in my opinon, of good standard for a fairly small museum. Furthermore, I have always found that the staff there are genuinely enthusiastic and willing to share their knowledge.Various rooms can be booked out for weddings, christmas dinners etc. I've heard from friends that these functions are always very enjoyable with excellent food and a fantastic ambience and they have been recommended to me several times.

              The large farm is not technically part of the museum but I'll still write a little about it. It includes a tearoom, farm shop, gift shop, deli and adventure playground. Not much more than 5 years ago there was little there but a small farm and tearoom and it truly has esculated in size. Unfortunately this means that now there is a real commercial feel to the place. The farm shop is still very popular and sells good, fresh produce but seems to be deteriorating in quality a bit. Also, a little worrying is the sight of cheese being delivered from a Dutch lorry.
              The farm is good fun for children and there are often school parties visiting. Also, it is good value at £3.50 for kids and £3.95 for adults. The range of animals is pretty impressive too with everything from sheep, piglets, ponies, cows and donkeys to llamas, alpacas, wallabies and boars. It really is a mixed bag and when I visited with my two young cousins (6 and 8 years) they both found it fascinating and could have hapilly spent hours there.
              The farm is good but needs to stop growing before it starts to take away from the natural and relatively unspoilt park.


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              26.04.2009 16:11
              Very helpful
              1 Comment



              We had a superb day out and will definitely go again soon.

              Cannon Hall in Barnsley is one of those places that I had always wanted to visit but was waiting till I had a child that was the right sort of age for going to a petting farm. Don't get me wrong, Cannon Hall is so much more than just a farm but that was the main reason for me going. So, a couple of weeks ago I finally got the chance to take my daughter and she absolutely loved it. My husband is not one for walking but even he had a good day in the sun and will definitely go back next year, or maybe even later this year.

              It was a beautiful day when we went and, although the car park (which you need to take change for) was a long way from the hall and the farm, we didn't mind one bit as the view was exceptional and to see all the families and friends laid on the grass around the lake was terrific. I could well imagine that this walk may be more of a chore on colder days, but we then found out that there is a separate car park for the farm right at the top of the climb.

              Once at the Manor it became clear that there was a lot more to do than just go round the farm, but as we only went to the farm I can't comment on that, but it was all stunning to look at.

              On entering the farm itself, £3.75 for me and my husband and free for my daughter, it was immediately clear we were going to get value for money. The setting was great and the layout worked superbly well with informative areas for letting you know what the various animals were and where they came from. My daughter loved all of this and so did I. She was especially fond of the apparently new animal ring. In this area you get to walk on a platform above a selection of animals.

              The petting and feeding areas of the farm were nice and spacious enough for the hundreds of visitors that were in the same area to move around in. There were the usual suspects there in the form of pigs and cows but there were also some unusual goats and llamas that raised the eye a little. They were all friendly and as clean as they are ever going to be. The hand cleaning solutions were everywhere around the farm and this led to never risking your hygiene at any time.

              Obviously all this walking and excitement is going to leave you hungry and the cafe there does not let you down. It is large and the food is lovely, all home cooked. The refreshment stalls dotted around are well stocked and all of these are nicely priced considering the usual cost of these places.

              The gift shop is maybe a little random and could do with more branding to show where you have been. Sure there were plenty of animal mugs and the like, but nothing really screamed Cannon Hall farm at you. Its a small gripe but a gripe nontheless.

              Overall, we had a superb day out and will definitely go again soon.


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                20.10.2008 23:13
                Very helpful



                A great day out if you can keep the cost down

                Cannon Hall Farm is a fun filled day for any family, be them old or young there is something to enjoy.
                For a start children will love a day's visit to see the animals and have a great time on the adventure playground. They have all the usual farmyard animals to see and you can buy bags of food to feed them with too which is fun (and messy) also with it being a working farm there is always babies to be seen somewhere too. With it being a working farm there is a lot to learn so it is educational which I always like to see.

                The admission fee is a very reasonable £3.75 for adults and £3.25 for children.
                As well as the farm and adventure playground there is much to do and see for the adult visitors too, like the tea rooms , farm shop and deli.

                The farm shop is full of fresh produce like fruit and vegetables and meat, cheese and other dairy, preserves and pickles plus accessories and kitchen equipment . They also offer a Christmas hamper that you can order or make up yourself. Your Christmas meat order too can be placed in advance either in store or you can email it to them.

                The tea rooms are very pleasant and give a welcome place to rest if you are running after children all day or have done a lot of walking. They serve home cooked meals made with produce from the farm, if not they try to source their ingredients locally were possible. If you are after a light snack they do sandwiches and cakes too or if you are in need of something to warm you up they have a licence to sell alcohol. Sandwiches start at £2.05 and there are chips for £1.50, they also do baguettes and jacket potatoes, burgers and other smaller meals. The larger meals are things like sausage medley (made with their own sausages), homemade steak pie, homemade rogan josh curry and then things like gammon, all day breakfast and similar hearty meals at around £5.25. there are more meals like pasta, roast dinners and fish dishes too for similar prices, all
                reasonable for the kind of place.

                As you can imagine with it's name the deli is packed to the brim with indulgent foods from their own produce to exotic speciality's ( with this range comes typical heavy prices). Only in the deli can you find chatka crab and pickled quail eggs. you will find pie's , cheeses and home cooked meats, all for the big foodie fan.
                As always at tourist attractions they have a gift shop, with some of the usual keep sakes that you can be sure to find at any other place, on the plus side they sell more farm orientated things and educational toys and games although all a bit pricey as they tend to be in these shops.

                All in all a great place to visit even with the odd expensive part, the entry fee makes up for that and it is such a lovely place you just enjoy it anyway, I would steer clear of holidays and go in term time where possible too.


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                06.06.2008 13:50
                Very helpful



                A large country house that is now a museum

                I am often amazed just how many major attractions there are within my local area that I have yet to visit and until very recently Cannon Hall, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire was one such example of a place.

                Cannon Hall is a grand country mansion that is located on the edge of the picturesque village of Cawthorne. Cawthorne lies approximately seven kilometres to the east of Barnsley's town centre and is roughly halfway between junctions 37 and 38 of the M1 motorway. A bus that departs from the central interchange every 30 minutes serves Cawthorne if you are visiting by public transport, but it is then a good 10-15 minute walk from where the bus terminates to Cannon Hall itself. It is however a very pleasant walk that will take you past some of the most affluent houses in this part of Yorkshire, the sort of dwellings that even lottery winners could only dream of. The largest house of all however is of course Cannon Hall, which despite its huge size and extensive grounds is almost invisible from the public road.

                The exact year of construction of Cannon Hall is not known but it was built at some point during the 12th century, although a house of some description stood on the same site at the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086. Cannon Hall derived its name from one of its inhabitants during the 13th century, Gilbert Canun. It is more associated however with the Spencer family who occupied Cannon Hall from 1660 until 1951. The Spencer family made their money in the iron industry and become one of Yorkshire's most prominent families. Through marriages they eventually became the Spencer-Stanhope branch of the family and spawned many influential descendants.

                Today, Cannon Hall is owned and managed by Barnsley District Council. It is a public museum and also houses the
                Regimental Museum of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and the Light Dragoons. Cannon Hall was acquired by Barnsley District Council in 1951 when it was sold by the last member of the family to live there, Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope. It opened to the public in 1957.

                On approaching Cannon Hall the first thing that struck me was the grounds. These grounds were landscaped during the 18th century by Richard Woods of Chertsey, and include parkland, lakes, waterfalls and woodland. In some ways the view from the car park reminded me a little bit of Chatsworth Park in Derbyshire, albeit not quite as grand. The house stands at the highest point on the estate so even from the car park it is quite a steady climb up to the house and I would imagine that this might be difficult for the infirm.

                The walk up to the house takes the visitor past a Georgian Walled Garden, which is full of pear trees and also past a Victorian playground. One of the more curious objects however is a large shelter. From a distance this resembles a large bus shelter, but as you get closer you realise that it is constructed entirely of trees. The branches have been bent over to create the roof and large, thick tree trunks form its supporting walls. At the side of this construction there is a large placard explaining that this is actually a deer shelter that was constructed during the 18th century to provide shelter for the vast herds of deer that roam freely around the park.

                Entry into the house is completely free but this cannot be said about Cannon Hall Farm that stands adjacent to the house. The current cost to enter the farm is £3.75 for adults and £3.25 for children. We did not visit the farm but we did make use of the toilets, which are free to use and fully equipped for disabled visitors. We also had a look around the garden centre, which is also free to visit. Also located here are tea rooms and a restaurant.

                The house looks very grand even from afar. It is constructed of light sandstone and has a very solid, square appearance which reminded me of many of the other large country manor houses in this area including Cusworth Hall near Doncaster and the nearby Brodsworth Hall.

                Cannon Hall is built on three different levels. The ground floor and the second floor includes all of the original rooms of the house, fully furnished with much of the original furniture of the Spencer-Stanhope family. The upper floor features a military museum dedicated to 13th/18th Royal Hussars and the Light Dragoons.

                At the main entrance there is a small reception area and a gift shop and there is also a 17th century fire engine on display, which as you can imagine rather dominates the lobby area.

                From the lobby there is a single long corridor that runs the full length of the house and each of the rooms are located off this corridor. This same pattern is repeated on the second floor, but not on the top floor, which is much smaller and just contains a single large room.

                The rooms vary considerably in size and a few of them are actually locked so you have to make do with just peering through the glass doors. Other rooms are open and you can wander freely around them. Each room contains a wealth of information describing what purpose the room served. Some like the library and the large dining rooms, complete with dinner services laid out on the tables are self explanatory but other rooms are less obvious.

                One of the largest rooms on the ground floor is the ball room, which was also used to host banquets. This room even has a balcony, upon which a full orchestra would play. In each of the rooms it is always worth looking upwards as the ceilings are incredibly ornate, whilst the rooms along the front of the house have wonderful views of the grounds. All along the front of the house there is a shallow ditch. This interesting feature is known as a ha-ha, supposedly named because many people were surprised to find that it was there and fell into it. Its purpose was to prevent the deer getting right up to the house and causing structural damage.

                The second floor is where the various bedrooms are to be found. Many of these rooms feature huge oil paintings on the walls, which are largely of family members over several generations of the Spencer-Stanhope family. Beneath these paintings there is information about the people in the paintings and it is evident that some of them were quite unusual characters.

                The top floor where the military museum is located seems at first glance oddly out of place, but once you enter this is quickly forgiven. The 13th/18th Royal Hussars and the Light Dragoons played an important role in The Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War and here you can find lots of information relating to this historic event. The museum uses both sounds and smells in addition to the visual displays to tell its story which gives things an interesting twist.
                Cannon Hall is a great place to spend a full day and is suitable for both adults and children alike. It is open at the following times:

                April to October
                Wednesday-Saturday: from 1030am until 5pm (last admission 4.15pm)
                Sunday - Midday until 5pm
                November, December and March
                Open Sundays only from Midday until 4pm (last admission 3.15pm)
                It is closed during January and February.

                Cannon Hall
                S75 4AT


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                A beautiful country house museum that stages events, weddings, conferences etc.

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