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 lots to discover.

Pick up a Visitor Map and Spotters Guide in the Library, and explore the historic streets of Pontefract. 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 café.

Don’t forget to pop into Pontefract Castle, only a ten minute walk from the market place, the castle has a new visitor centre and café and offers a superb range of fun family events throughout the year. Please note some parts of the castle are closed for important conservation works at the moment but there’s still plenty to see.

Time to start planning your visit...

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What's On in Pontefract

Sale of the Century

Sale of the Century

Pontefract Museum

Mon 14 May - Sat 1 Sep 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 23 Jun 2018

Proms in the Castle

Proms in the Castle

Pontefract Castle

Sat 23 Jun 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 30 Jun 2018

Castle Crafts

Castle Crafts

Pontefract Castle

Wed 4 Jul 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 7 Jul 2018

Picnic at the Castle

Picnic at the Castle

Pontefract Castle

Sat 7 Jul 2018

Liquorice Jewellery Making

Liquorice Festival at the Castle

Pontefract Castle

Sun 8 Jul 2018

Family fun

Pontefract Liquorice Festival

Pontefract Precinct

Sun 8 Jul 2018

Meet the Curator

Meet the Curator

Pontefract Museum

Wed 11 Jul 2018

Gold Leaf

Have a Dabble - Gold Leaf Illuminated Letters

Pontefract Castle

Thu 12 Jul 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 14 Jul 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 21 Jul 2018

Paper Mosaics

Paper Mosaics

Pontefract Castle

Sat 21 Jul 2018

Medieval Woodwork

Medieval Woodwork and Carpentry

Pontefract Castle

Sun 22 Jul 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 28 Jul 2018

Attack & Defence

Attack & Defence

Pontefract Castle

Mon 30 Jul - Sat 4 Aug 2018

Retro Retail

Retro Retail: Object Handling

Pontefract Museum

Wed 1 Aug 2018

Yorkshire Day

Yorkshire Day

Pontefract Castle

Wed 1 Aug 2018

Family Fun

Family Fun

Pontefract Museum

Sat 4 Aug 2018

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.

Click here to find out more...

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