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Hoober Stand

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Hoober Stand, a monumental tower in the form of a tapering pyramid topped with a hexagonal lantern, is named for the ancient wood in which it was erected at Hoober near Rotherham in South Yorkshire. The Grade II* listed building is one of several follies in the grounds of Wentworth Woodhouse including Keppel’s ColumnOne of several follies and monuments erected on the Wentworth Park Estate in South Yorkshire., the Needle’s Eye, the Rockingham MausoleumMonument commissioned by the Earl Fitzwilliam as a memorial to the second Marquess of Rockingham in 1783., the Doric Temple and the Bear Pit.[1] The tower is owned by the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Amenity Trust, a charitable trust formed in 1979 with an endowment from the 10th Earl Fitzwilliam. It is opened to the public who can climb its 150 steps to the viewing platform.[2]

The tower was designed by Henry Flitcroft and built between 1746 and 1748 for Thomas Watson-Wentworth, Earl of Malton, to celebrate his role in suppressing the Jacobite Rising of 1745,[a]An attempt to restore the Catholic Charles Edward Stuart, the “Young Pretender” (Bonnie Prince Charlie) to the throne and his elevation to Marquis of Rockingham.[1] An inscription on a marble panel above the door commemorates the occasion:

1748 This Pyramidall Building was Erected by his MAJESTY’S most Dutyfull Subject THOMAS, Marquess of Rockingham & ca In Grateful Respect to the Preserver of our Religion Laws and Libertys KING GEORGE THE SECOND

The tower’s tapering form gives the impression that it is leaning, and an optical illusion has the effect of making the centrally placed cupolaSmall dome on top of a roof or other high structure. move from side to side as the angle of approach changes. The Fitzwilliams of Wentworth Woodhouse often took visitors to view their estate from the tower’s viewpoint.[2]


See caption
An optical illusion gives the impression that the tower leans and the cupola is not central.
Wikimedia Commons

The massive triangular tower is built of sandstone ashl of squared and finely cut or worked stone, commonly used for the facing of a The tower is about 30 metres (98 ft) tall, has rounded angles, and tapers from a perpendicular base to a corbelledStructural piece of stone, wood or metal jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent load. parapet. It is topped with a central hexagonal cupola that covers the emerging internal stone staircase.[1]

The south elevation contains a central doorway with a projecting surround with an impost band to a round arch. Above it is a lead-lettered marble panel in an ashlar surround. Above the door is a centrally placed window part way up the tower and a similar window above it. The left return has a single window and the right return has two. The flat roof above the corbel-table is surrounded by an iron-railed balustrade, and a sundial was set at each angle around the ashlar-domed cupola.[1]


a An attempt to restore the Catholic Charles Edward Stuart, the “Young Pretender” (Bonnie Prince Charlie) to the throne