Museum:Pontefract Museum

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Local History

Local History

We are working hard to keep information on this website up to date but things are changing rapidly. Please check individual venue websites before travelling.


5 Salter Row,
West Yorkshire,

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Sat 22 May - Sat 4 Jun The Travel Posters Of Charles Pears


*Information updated 6 January 2021*

Wakefield Museums and Castles Closure

Following the recent announcement from the government on COVID-19, all Council museums are closed until further notice. This is Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract Museums.

However, Pontefract Castle grounds and toilets will remain open to the public during the hours as currently advertised and the café will be serving takeaway food and drink.

The grounds of Sandal Castle and car park will remain open with social distancing measures in place.

For further information 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 welcomeMobility Accessibility FacilitiesSmoking not allowedHearing Accessibility FacilitiesVisual Accessibility Facilities

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
  • Mobility Accessibility FacilitiesMobility Accessibility Facilities
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed
  • Hearing Accessibility FacilitiesHearing Accessibility Facilities
  • Visual Accessibility FacilitiesVisual Accessibility Facilities