Pontefract Castle Guided Walk

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Pontefract Castle Guided Walk

The Pontefract Castle walk is one of several available for booking from Heritage Education. To see a complete list click here.

An outline of the walk

The town of Pontefract has its origins in the Anglo-Saxon period. In medieval times it became a Royal Castle, as it is to this day. It has also been the scene of some of the more notable events of Yorkshire history. According to Shakespeare, Richard the Second was executed in the royal apartments. In Tudor times Robert Aske brought the Pilgrimage of Grace there. The castle was besieged during the English Civil War and after its demolition was given over to the growing of liquorice for the manufacture of Pontefract Cakes. Today it is a public park administered by Wakefield MDC.

This is the shortest walk of those I offer, going from a small car park at the bottom of the hill on which Pontefract Castle stands, around the interior of the castle and back down again.

Detailed information

Starting point In the car park on the Booths (off North Baileygate). This lies at the foot of the castle near the Saxon chapel and All Saints Church. The car park is approached by a short stretch of street laid with Yorkshire setts.  Approximate O. S. grid reference SE 462 222.
Public transport There are buses to Pontefract from both Leeds and Wakefield. The nearest railway station is at Pontefract Monkhill. Allow 20 minutes to walk to the starting point.
Length of walk Very short. To and from the car park and a circuit of the inner bailey.
Duration of walk This is difficult to assess without knowing how fast the members of the group walk or how likely they are to ask questions. However, on average, it takes approximately an hour and three quarters.
Difficulty Most of the route is fairly straightforward traversing a mixture of mown lawns, metalled paths and pavements. There is a short hill leading from the car park to the castle and a steeper shorter rise from the bailey to the highest point of the castle.
What you will see or hear about The foundations of the Saxon ChurchMedieval PontefractCastle ArchitectureThe Pilgrimage of GraceThe Civil War sieges

The liquorice industry

The ruins as they are today



All walks cost £50 for group bookings.  A 20% discount is available if you book two or more talks or guided walks.

How to book

To find out more or to book a session contact me here.


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