Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

For Windstad, Heljarchen & Lakeview: Walkable defense walls, 5 usable towers, 10 guards per house, Auto-Outfitting mannequins set player-designed guard uniforms, Magic portals to Winterhold College, "Outdoor" armory/shops/tavern/, Guest Management system assigns beds & local activities for followers, Random dragon/bandit attacks, Merchants

Permissions and credits
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Walkable Walls, Uniformed Guards & Guest Quarters at all Hearthfire Houses.

It turns out that the land the Jarl's steward sold you in each of the Hearthfire Holds have old stone walls surrounding the building sites. These walls and the towers they support are now yours to use as shelter as you build your fancy new Hearthfire house and to use as a small fortress/village after the house is completed.

5 fully outdoor “no load door”towers or the Lakeview out-buildings house an armory, a magic shop, a 3-floor tavern and a large 2-building barracks with a kitchen/eating area. Lakeview Manor has a functioning outdoor Pool & Tavern area and you may build a profitable mine near Windstad Manor or farm near Heljarchen Hall as you see that the nearby land is up-for sale for these purposes. (Farm and/or Mine mod required)

Each Hearthfire house location includes the following new features and content:

* 10 battle ready uniformed guards including fighters and mages
* Daily AI activity schedules including guard patrols, combat practice and tavern time
* Auto-outfitting uniform mannequins to equip armor and weapons on all local guards
* Walkable perimeter defense walls designed for “castle defense” type game-play
* Stacking dragon attacks and bandit raids with player configurable options
* Guesthouse with 10 follower-assignable beds & activity schedule management quest

* 5 “no load door” towers with an armory, magic shop,tavern, barracks and guesthouse
* 6 vendor NPCs with Blacksmith, Tavernkeeper, Bard, Merchant, Enchanter & Alchemist
* Magic portals to Winterhold College allows NPC-friendly travel between houses & college
* Banner display system allows player management of all local banners with one menu
* Practice on archery targets and melee dummies earns XP advancing player skills
* Automated doors/gates close after opening & large gates open for players on horseback
* Local ferry allows horse-free river travel between local cities and towns by rowboat
* Basic business income and payroll system allows constant income or a worker's strike
* Fully compatible with the popular Heljarchen Farm and Windstad Mine mods

To start this mod simply purchase each of the 3 Hearthfire properties as you normally would, travel to the build sites and use the build stations to build your house and refit the old fortifications. A second workbench is added to your Hearthfire build stations allowing you to refit the old battlements and towers with new works of wood and stone using Hearthfire's sawn logs, nails, iron fittings and quarried stone blocks. All exterior build-stations including the HF build-stations and log pile can be toggled on or off using the Configuration Candle located in the barracks or Lakeview guardhouse.

After all HGF build phases are completed go to the player's quarters in the center of the first barracks tower or guardhouse and use the activators located there to furnish your towers, hire employees and configure all the local HGF settings. To optimize game performance in each location please install the performance boost patch after you have built the exterior of all three of the original Hearthfire houses. (available on download page)

Battle Ready Guards:

After you have opened the Barracks and the Armory you can hire up to 8 veteran men-at arms to actively guard your property in both day and night patrols. (6 at Lakeview) Add 2 hard hitting destruction magic wizards to your patrols by opening the portals at the top of the Enchanter's Tower. The mage-guards live in Service Hall below the College of Winterhold.

All Guards patrol for 12 hours per day,practice archery/spells/sword-play on targets/dummies, visit the tavern to relax, eat in the barracks or Lakeview guesthouse and sleep in the barracks or Lakeview guardhouse. (mage-guards sleep in Winterhold) All guards wear the local player-configured man-at-arms or keep-wizard uniform and are able to be used as regular followers. All guards level with the player up to 150.

Auto-Outfitting Uniform Mannequins:

Each mannequin creates and distributes player-designed guard uniforms that are worn by all local guards. Each house has one fighter-guard mannequin and one mage-guard mannequin located in the Armory and Enchanter's Tower respectively. Labeled base cabinets designate which mannequins are the uniform mannequins. Put weapons and other non-armor gear in the cabinet to add them to the local uniform. Anything put on a uniform mannequin and/or in it's lower misc-gear cabinet will be distributed and equipped to the corresponding guard group.

All non-player enchantments are fully compatible and will remain on distributed equipment. Newly added items equip on cell load to give the Blacksmith and/or Enchanter time to make the new gear. Items not on the uniform mannequin or in the gear cabinet are removed on the next cell load event. Only armor that is better than vanilla Iron/Banded-Iron armor will equipped by the guards. A set of heavy Guard's Armor for each of the 9 holds can be made at any forge. (better than basic iron)

Walkable Perimeter Defense Walls:

Large stone defense walls and some wooden scaffolding allow “castle defense” type game play. When you trigger an attack you will find yourself running up and down stairs from wall to wall defending your keep with your highly trained guards fighting along side you. These sturdy walls turn your Hearthfire house into a fully functioning battle ready fortress. All stone walls and fortifications have been configured to “never fade” so the walls and towers can be seen from all distances without the need for custom LOD files.

5 fully outdoor “no load door”towers house an armory, a magic shop, a 3-floor tavern and a large 2-building barracks with a kitchen/eating area. The armory and magic shops contain all relevant workstations and displays including the Staff Enchanter and the Spider Crafting Machine.

Stacking Dragon Attacks and Bandit Raids:

When dragon attacks and/or bandit raids are turned on in the configuration candle menu and the player opens any door in the walls there is a small chance to trigger an attack on the fort. Successful trigger events can stack or accumulate with each opening of a door if triggered before the prior attacks can spawn and play out. By repeatedly opening and closing a door you can produce large “castle defense” battles to defend your walls. Each trigger event has a random chance to spawn 1 dragon and/or up to 4 groups of 3 bandits with groups spawned at different locations outside the walls. To keep it challenging all enemy NPCs are leveled.

The Configuration Candle in the player's quarters allows dragon and bandit attacks to be toggled off or on individually. For truly epic auto-regenerating battles attack triggers can be set to be activated by NPCs opening doors too. (hour long raids can happen) Attacks and Raids cannot be turned on at Lakeview because such a relaxing location is antithetical to large battle scenes or true castle defense game-play.

The Barracks:

When fully furnished the barracks house all the local fighter-guards and vendors. Lakeview has a guardhouse and a guesthouse instead of dual barracks towers. Each barracks or guesthouse contains a fully stocked kitchen with eating area, a Player's/Housecarl's quarters, and living quarters for all local hired personnel. Guests, guards, vendors and merchants all have daily activity/living schedules eating in the kitchen, sleeping in the barracks, relaxing in the tavern, visiting any of the towers, and working in the towers or patrolling guard stations. (or visiting the pool at Lakeview)

The Captain's Quarters:

This small player's room in the barracks includes a bed, weapon racks, safe storage, the local Banner Selection Rope, the local Business Management Ledger, the local Business Earnings Safe and the local Configuration Candle.
The room can be designated as the living quarters for the local Housecarl moving your Housecarl's sleeping area out of the house and into the barracks with the other men-at-arms to serve as their commander. Access this setting by using the Configuration Candle.

The Guest Rooms:

The barracks or Lakeview guesthouse contain assignable guest beds for followers and assigned beds/living quarters for all added local NPCs. There are up to 10 guest beds available per house site. Any NPC can be checked into the local guest management system and assigned a sleeping area by using the Guest Ledger located near the unused beds in the Barracks or Guardhouse. The new guest must be currently following you in your 1st follower slot and it is best to only have one follower when checking in.

All guests will sleep in their assigned bed, eat in the barracks or guesthouse, use the crafting stations in the magic shop, view displays in the armory, and visit the tavern every day. On some days individual Lakeview guests will take “pool days” instead of the regular scheduled activities. Guests are checked out by using their bed number so you may need to wait for the guests to go to sleep to determine which bed they are using. (guest sleep starts at 2AM)

The Armory:

Each armory contains a forge, an armorer's workbench, a sharpening wheel and many armor display mannequins. A blacksmith is hired when you furnish the armory tower. The Blacksmith works the forge, visits the tavern, and sleeps in the barracks or the Lakeview guest house. At Lakeview there is no armory so the Blacksmith is hired individually and spends his time at the outdoor forge or foraging for ore in the local caves. The Auto-Outfitting Uniform Mannequin for the fighter-guards is located in the armory or the Lakeview guardhouse.

The Magic Shop:

Opening the portal to Winterhold furnishes the Enchanter's Tower with the standard magic shop furnishings and hires the enchanter and apothecary. The enchanter and apothecary sleep in an underground tower below the College of Winterhold and travel through the portal to/from work everyday. The Winterhold Hall of Service has two open rooms with unassigned beds for followers who can use them.

When enabled the magic shops include standard alchemy and enchanting workstations. The Staff Enchanter and the Spider Imbuing Chamber from Solsheim are enabled when they are discovered (or revisited) at their original location. Containers with blank staffs, heartstones, spider parts and recipes are also installed with these crafting stations. The Auto-Outfitting Uniform Mannequin for the mage-guards is located in the magic shop or the Lakeview guardhouse.

The Tavern:

A tavern-keeper is hired when you furnish the tavern tower or the Lakeview pool deck. A merchant and bard can be hired/fired individually after the tavern-keeper has been hired. (Blacksmith and Groundskeeper at Lakeview) Each tavern has plenty of food and drinks for the off-duty guards, workers and visiting guests to eat and drink.

The tavern at Lakeview Manor has a pool deck with a shallow sitting pool and deeper swimming pool. All NPCs entering the pool water areas will remove their clothing to bathe and redress when they leave the area. The hot water mist and statue water spout features are controlled with the pull chain mounted on the pillar by the stairs.

Magic Portals to the College of Winterhold:

Each Hearthfire house is equipped with a magic portal on top of the Enchanter's Tower allowing instantaneous travel between your property and Winterhold. The Lakeview portal is located on the wall by the guard tower. The portals must be opened using the prepared void stones found sitting on top of the partition wall in the Archmage's quarters in the college to be enabled for use. After the portals are opened the enchanter's shop and apothecary shop are installed in the Enchanter's Tower. The enchanter and apothecary will now use the portal to travel between their quarters in Winterhold and their work in your tower everyday.

Local Banner Display System:

A master banner display rod with a long rope to activate it is installed in the player's room in the 1st barracks tower or Lakeview guardhouse. Pulling this rope allows player configuration of all locally displayed banners. The banner displayed here is also displayed at every banner display on your local property including banners displayed in the Farm or Mine add-on mods. Banners update “on load”.

Automated Doors and Gates:

The main gates at each location automatically open only for players riding any mount. Mounted players do not trigger random dragon attacks or bandit raids when opening these gates. All doors automatically close 60 seconds after being opened by the player or any NPC. All doors and gates in the add-on mods are also converted to auto-doors with patches available on the download page.

Interactive Archery Targets & Melee Dummies:

Targets and dummies give the player experience points with each successful hit with a melee or ranged weapon. Archery targets give more XP with greater distance and they have a bull's eye that gives x2 and x10 XP bonuses when hit from near or far distances. The ballistics range has 3 archery targets placed outside the wall so use the bow-zoom ability to spot the most distant target if you don't see it out there.

Ferry Boats and Local River Travel:

After all available employees are hired small row boats become available at Windstad Manor and Lakeview Manor for purchase through the local Business Ledger located in the barracks player's quarters. These boats enable a local fast travel ferry system between Windstad, Morthal and Solitude or Lakeview, Riverwood and Whiterun. Your horse will be stored at the local Hearthfire house when using the local fast travel system.

The Heljarchen fast travel system has not yet been deployed. A lighthouse beacon is currently used for the final furnishing offer at Heljarchen Hall. (I am still looking for a compatible hot air balloon model or some other lore-friendly form of air-travel for the fast travel system between Heljarchen, Dawnstar and Windhelm)

Hirelings, Profit/Loss and Workers on Strike:

After all the towers are refitted the player's quarters contains a Business Management Ledger and Business Earnings Safe that together allow the keep to be run as a functional business. Use the ledger to furnish shop facilities in the towers, hire employees and set the local pay rate. With all available employees hired a pay rate of 20 gold or less will keep the payroll paid and produce a profit in the earnings safe. Pay rates above 20 gold will require lump sums of gold to be deposited into the earnings safe to pay the payroll and avoid a general workers strike. Higher pay rates turn your business into a “ gold sink” to use up some of that late game wealth.

If the local cell loads with zero gold in the earnings safe all local employees will go on strike and retire to their quarters to relax. The strike will be ended on the next cell load with any amount of gold in the earnings safe. A general strike does include the businesses and employees added by the Farm and Mine add-on mods causing these workers to go on strike and securely lock their business' earnings containers until the strike is ended.

Lakeview Extended – Hearthfire by Ac3s:

You may notice that the Lakeview location has 90% of the content from the well-known Lakeview Extended - Hearthfire mod by Ac3s. For more detailed information on the Lakeview house site please see the original mod found here:
The author of this great mod has graciously granted me permission to rebuild Lakeview Extended by-hand in the new 64-bit Creation Kit. (best Hearthfire house IMO) THANK YOU Ac3s!

If you currently have Lakeview Extended installed you will need to uninstall it and the HGF Lakeview Extended patch before installing version 1.9 or higher of Hearthfire Guards and Fortifications. I successfully recreated 90% of Lakeview Extended adding most of its features to the Lakeview location in HGF. Rebuilding Lakeview Extended specifically for the 64-bit Skyrim Special Edition has dramatically increased game performance at Lakeview even with all the “bells and whistles” enabled. Install the performance boost patch available on download page only after all the exterior parts of all three of the original Hearthfire houses have been built. The patch installs occlusion boxes inside the local 3d building/house models raising FPS and game performance around the house sites.

Some minor features of the original mod have been changed to accommodate the new HGF features added to the Lakeview site. You can now build the Hearthfire house with the Lakeview content installed instead of waiting until after the house has been finished before installing the mod. The little “configuration dragon” in the Villa has been replaced by the Business Ledger and Configuration Candle activators in the Guardhouse. All fighter-guards now sleep in the Guardhouse. Willow is now an enchanter. The two mage-guards, the enchanter and the apothecary now sleep in Service Hall in Winterhold College. Calista's Incense now houses the magic shop and the door has been re-located to the base of the cliff where the vanilla “evil alter” was located. The water in the swimming pools must now be enabled by turning on the dwemer pump located in a hidden room in the Fungal Cave under the sewer grate by the door to Calista's Incense. The pull chain by the swimming pools now cycles through 3 functions. (water spouts on / heat mist on / both features off) The teleportation stones used to access the Prison Tower on the mountain top have been replaced with a long internal staircase located behind a door in the back of the Hortus Sanctum cave.

Heljarchen Farm and Windstad Mine Add-Ons:

This mod has been carefully designed to work with the Heljarchen Farm, and Windstad Mine mods created by Skvindt.The available HGF patches add these 2 mod's guards to the local HGF uniform mannequin system, their NPC's to a rotating local HGF tavern visiting schedule, their banner displays to the local HGF banner display system, their employees and income containers to the local HGF “worker strike” business system, and their doors/gates to the HGF auto-close system and auto-open for horse rider system. All patches coordinate NPC navigation navmeshes, shared static objects and environmental visual themes for seamless integration. The mine patch also fixes the fast travel horse stable by the wagon so it works properly when the player fast travels to the mine with a horse.

The use of these two excellent mods is fully optional but if they are installed the use of the corresponding compatibility patches is not optional. Please install the appropriate patches when using any of these fully supported mods. For a complete gaming experience the use of these mods is highly recommended unless performance issues are experienced when playing on much older or less-powerful computer systems. (They all run fine together on my 5+ year old laptop)


Compatibility patches are available on the download page for the following mods:

The Windstad Mine
The Heljarchen Farm
A Follower Pack SSE
The Crossroads Cellar SSE
HGF Performance Patch

Recommended Mods:

This mod is part of a series of mods I made to work together. Other modules in the series

Sky Haven Temple Restored & Expanded- Recruit 10 Blades,Dragonlord Blessings-here:

A Follower Pack- 24 integrated followers, 3 Faction Expansions & a lot more - found here:

The Crossroads Cellar - shared cellar with doors to all player houses & more - found here:

Thane Fail-Safe - Finally finish those stalled or bugged Thane quests - found here:

Works from other authors that enhance Hearthfire Guards and Fortifications include the following mods:

Heljarchen Farm SSE profitable farm between Heljarchen Hall & the main road found here:

Windstad Mine SSE
profitable mining settlement next to Windstad Manor found here:

Amazing Follower Tweaks
a very popular multiple follower management mod found here:

Hearthfire Multiple Adoptions
custom home support for kids and spouse found here:

My Home Is Your Home assign followers sleep/work areas to fill unused beds found here:




Install/uninstall/update manually or with a mod manager as you would any other mod.


Much thanks to the following mod authors for their great mods -

Skvindt – Heljarchen Farm, Windstad Mine

Ac3s – LakeviewExtended

Have fun everyone!