Welcome to Pontefract
Once known as the Key to the North, Pontefract is now a thriving market town with many stories to tell. From horse racing and secret ballots to King Richard II and liquorice roots, there's plenty to discover.
Explore the town centre, discover hidden treasures at independent boutiques, browse the colourful stalls of the bustling market and enjoy afternoon tea with a warm Yorkshire welcome at a local cafe.
Head to Pontefract Castle and see the multi-million pound conservation project in action. Watch experts carefully preserve the ruins of the castle and see for yourself how the 19th century blacksmith's workshop has been transformed into a stunning Visitor Centre, including cafe, gift shop and learning zone - opening this autumn.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit...
What's On in Pontefract
Pontefract town centre is steeped in history.
The town’s medieval ‘burgage plot’ street pattern can still be seen in the yards that lead off the market place, and many of the beautiful buildings you see in the market place today date from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
Visitors can enjoy the splendour of the Georgian Town Hall and Buttercross, the Victorian market and the decorative Art Nouveau town museum.
The Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is helping to breathe life back into this historic town centre, funding repairs to key buildings, including historic shops on Gillygate and Ropergate, preserving them for years to come.