The earliest records show there was a house on the site in 1086, however little is known about it. Cannon Hall got its current name from the 13th century inhabitant Gilbert Canun. During the late 14th Century it was owned by the Bosville family of Ardsley, and it was during this time that the most violent event in its traceable history occurred.
The Bosvilles had let the Hall to a family (whose name has been lost), the daughter of whom was romantically linked with a man named Lockwood. Lockwood himself had been involved in the murder of Sir John Eland, the Sheriff of the County. The tenant, frightened of the position in which he could find himself accommodating a fugitive, sent word to Bosville. Bosville`s men turned up shortly after at Cannon where upon Lockwood was slain in a cruel and violent manner, but after this nasty incident. In 1660 the estate was purchased by John Spencer, a Welsh hay-rake maker.
In the late 1700`s - early 1800`s, his heir and nephew heightened the wings, giving the rather high-blocked house typical of its period and area that is seen today. His descendant, Sir Walter Spencer-Stanhope added a ballroom in 1890-1891.The family continued to use it as their family home until the last member of the family, Elizabeth, removed the contents and sold the house to Barnsley Council in 1951. Cannon Hall Museum was then opened to the public in 1957.
Bark House Ln, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75 4AT