Museum:Pontefract Museum

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Local History

Local History

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5 Salter Row,
West Yorkshire,

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Thu 20 Aug - Sat 7 Nov On Our Doorstep: Geoff Leathley Paintings
Sat 22 May - Sat 4 Jun The Travel Posters Of Charles Pears


Pontefract Museum is Covid-19 Secure and is re-open to visitors.

This means that it uses social distancing and other guidelines to protect the health of everyone. Staff will greet each visitor to explain viewing arrangements.

Key things to note:

- There is a one-way system in effect.
- The maximum number of visitors is either up to three family groups or 15 people at any one time, so queuing may be required before entering.
- Informational signs are installed to assist visitors navigate the museum.
- Hand-sanitiser is available in the foyer for use by visitors.
- All events and activities have been temporarily suspended. This includes workshops, talks, and drop-in craft sessions.
- All interactive resources have been temporarily removed from public spaces. This includes soft play, colouring activities, and display case information sheets.
- Some of the activity tables have been temporarily removed to allow additional space for staff and visitors.

For full reopening details please visit:

Located in the town centre, Pontefract Museum offers a warm and friendly welcome. Built in 1904 as the town's first library, the building still contains many of its original art noveau fittings. There are intricate door handles and matching chairs, and beautiful tiles that decorate the entrance and staircase.

Step inside the beautiful art nouveau building to discover a world where liquorice and voting collide, where we celebrate the captivating stories of Pontefract, its people, and the history of its once mighty castle.

Other highlights at the museum include:
The Ackworth Hoard – found recently in a garden in Ackworth and made up of 52 gold coins, 539 silver coins and a single gold ring dating from the Civil War. It is the only hoard known from the Wakefield District and has a distinct Royalist association.

The Pontefract Gallery – telling the story of Pontefract and its people, revealing the area's outstanding history and bringing to life an exciting and often surprising past. This exhibition boasts the world's first secret ballot box and a unique display of objects related to liquorice.

The Special Exhibition Gallery – showcasing a varied programme of displays inspired by the museum's collections along with loans from other people and places.

* Please note that the Reference Room and Bagley's Glass Room are currently closed. *

Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for educational visitsAccepts groups

Children welcomeDisabled accessSmoking not allowedFacilities for hearing impairedFacilities for visually impaired

Opening details

Monday - Friday: 10am - 3.30pm
Saturday: 10.30am - 3.30pm
Sunday: CLOSED



See location of Pontefract Museum on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 455219  Lat: 53.69156 Long: -1.31243

By Road:
Jct32 M62
Follow signs for Pontefract Town Centre.
Museum is on the precinct, next to Pontefract Library

By Public Transport:
Nearest train station: Tanshelf Railway Station
Nearest bus station: Pontefract Bus Station


  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed
  • Facilities for hearing impairedFacilities for hearing impaired
  • Facilities for visually impairedFacilities for visually impaired