Pontefract Castle

Address: Pontefract Castle, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1QH

Discovering Pontefract Castle: A Historical Landmark in West Yorkshire

Pontefract Castle, located in the historic market town of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, has a storied past dating back to its construction in 1070 by Ilbert de Lacy.

This formidable fortress played a pivotal role in English history, witnessing battles, sieges, and royal intrigue. Known as the "Key to the North," the castle was a royal residence, a military stronghold during the English Civil War, and even a prison for King Richard II.

Today, the castle remains a significant heritage site with ruins that offer a glimpse into its grand past!


Admission to Pontefract Castle is free. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and the adjoining visitor center without any charge, making it an accessible attraction for everyone. However, guided tours of the underground cellars are available for a small fee:

  • Adults: £2.10
  • Children: £1.05​.

Features/Things To Do

Pontefract Castle offers a variety of activities and attractions:

  • Explore the Ruins: Walk through the extensive remains of the castle, including the Royal Apartments, the Norman Chapel, and the Keep.
  • Underground Cellar Tours: Take a guided tour of the 11th-century cellars, used during the Civil War as a magazine and featuring names carved into the walls by prisoners.
  • Visitor Centre: Learn about the castle’s history through interactive exhibits and displays.
  • Family Events: Participate in family-friendly events and workshops held throughout the year, such as Medieval Games and theatre productions.
  • Scenic Walks: Enjoy the picturesque grounds and take in the views of the surrounding landscape​.

Pontefract Castle On The Map


Pontefract Castle is accessible by car and public transport:

By Car:

  • Address: Castle Garth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1QH. There is ample parking available nearby.

By Public Transport:

  • Bus: Regular bus services run to Pontefract from surrounding areas.
  • Train: The nearest railway station is Pontefract Monkhill, within walking distance of the castle​.

A visit to Pontefract Castle offers a fascinating journey through England’s medieval and Civil War history, set within a beautiful and accessible location.

Plan your visit today to explore this historic site and enjoy its many attractions​!

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