Your Personal Town Guide
West Yorkshire
Although Pontefract might not be much visited today but in the Middle Ages it was the most important town in Yorkshire besides York. Its massive royal castle ruled over almost all West and South Yorkshire. Richard II was murdered in its dungeons and the town gets namechecked in the dramatisation of his life by Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare when he refers to it as “Bloody Pomfret”. The castle’s downfall came during the English Civil War in the 1640s and was almost totally destroyed. However, the name Pomfret (the town’s original name) lives on in the solid round liquorice sweet known as Pomfret / Pontefract cakes. Liquorice was once grown all around the town, but no longer is, but the manufacture of sweets is the town’s main industry and can be smelt wherever you go!


Must See
Castle, Museum, Churches, Market Place
Pontefract Castle , Pontefract Museum , St Giles' Church , All Saints Church , Pontefract Hermitage , Xscape
Market Day
Wednesday and Saturday; Indoor market Mon-Sat
Mostly High Street
Rugby, Horse Racing
Tourist info Centre
5 Salter Row, Pontefract WF81BA
Direct Access
Rail Station, Bus station. Central car parking.
1hr Town Walk
A circular walk that takes in the old market buildings, churches, town hall, castle, and the old streets.
Video Features
See exclusive content of the Liquorice Festival and liquorice industry.

Slide Show


Pontefract Races
Pontefract Races

Race season from April to October. Flat races between 5 furlongs and 2 miles 5 furlongs - the largest flat circular race in Europe.

More Info
Pontefract Liquorice Festival
Pontefract Liquorice Festival

Usually second Sunday in July. Parade, events, music, comedy, liquorice bushes, sweets, beer, jewelery and more!.

More Info
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