History & Heritage

The Wakefield district has a rich cultural history. Descend 140m underground into the dark depths to explore life as a miner at the National Coal Mining Museum for England and discover the hidden stories behind the people who lived and worked in an 18th century mansion at National Trust Nostell.

Get hands on with history and discover some of the stories about the heritage of our city and towns at Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract Museums. Have you ever wondered what a Civil War dungeon looked like? Walk down the steps and journey beneath Pontefract Castle to find out.

If you'd like to delve a little further into the area's history and perhaps find out about relatives who once lived here, then the West Yorkshire History Centre is a great place to begin.

There is so much to explore, where will you start first?

There's something exciting happening at Pontefract Castle! Specialist conservation work has been taking place as part of a £3.5 million Heritage Lottery project to preserve the historic ruins, opening up parts of the castle that haven't been seen for hundreds of years. 

Explore the historic grounds and the new visitor centre with gift shop, cafe and museum space, experience the dark and eerie dungeon and don't miss the exciting range of events and activities available throughout the cafe.

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The textile industry has left its mark across West Yorkshire, from weavers' cottages to mill owners' mansions, from pack horse trails to large factory complexes.

Discover the history for yourself with this handy map that's packed full of places to go where you can explore our textile heritage further.

Click here to find out more