Welcome to Pontefractus.co.uk
||Pontefract is one of the 'Five Towns'
in the district of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, with a population close
to 29,000 people. Its name originates from the Latin ponte fractus
which, translated, means 'broken
bridge'. The name Pontefract does not appear in the
Domesday Book of 1086 but an area
of the town known as Tanshelf does.
Castle was built around 1070 by Ilbert de Lacy and as a consequence
the town suffered terribly throughout the English Civil War years. Oliver
Cromwell once stated that he believed Pontefract Castle was "one
of the strongest inland garrisons in the kingdom."
Pontefract has been a market town since the Middle Ages and its location
on deep sandy soil made it one of the few places throughout Britain
plants could be cultivated. While liquorice growing disappeared some
time ago, other long-standing traditions such as its large number of
public houses and its racecourse continue to provide entertainment for
visitors and inhabitants alike.
This website, constructed in March 2005, aims to relate the history
and origins of the town of Pontefract along with more recent
recollections of the town by those who live
and work here.
Spotlight on Previous Articles
NUTSHELL - CHARLES ELLIS
I was born in Pontefract Workhouse. My mother and I were there
because she had been turned out of her home (because of her
pregnancy out of wedlock). It was a stigma that was to haunt me for
many years - in 1922 it was a sin..
THE BARNBOW LASSES - ERIC
At the outbreak of the First World War in November 1914 the British
army was ill prepared for the scale of the conflict and nowhere was
this more apparent than in the provision of artillery ordinance.
This page was last updated on
12 September, 2014