Pontefract Castle
Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle: Historic ruins ● Exciting Events ● Eerie Dungeons

Welcome to Pontefract Castle.

From its construction in 1070 to its destruction after the Civil Wars, this once-fearsome fortress dominated Yorkshire and beyond, earning the nickname, "Key to the North". From battles and sieges, starvation and destruction to royal infidelity and the cultivation of liquorice, you'll be surprised at what these walls have seen!

Today, the castle is a place of family-friendly adventure, with wide open spaces to play and fascinating ruins to investigate. Discover the stories of the castle in the History of Pontefract Castle displays. Take a tour of the dungeons: see where prisoners scratched their names into the rock! Get crafty and creative in the Activity Zone.

Stand in the remains of the bread ovens, and imagine a time when the castle held lavish banquets for some of England’s most famous kings and queens. Don’t forget to pop into our visitor centre or gift shop where we offer a  range of souvenirs gifts and ice-creams.

We have now completed our major conservation project to preserve the historic ruins of the castle for the future. The fencing is gone and the pathways are now open, waiting for you to come and explore.

Entrance to the castle is FREE and we’re open throughout the year. See you soon!

This autumn, Pontefract Castle is excited to welcome the DigVentures team to unearth the medieval gatehouse. Come along and see what they've unearthed so far!

What's On at the Castle

Dungeon Tours

Dungeon Tour

Be brave! Descend underground and take one of our Dungeon Tours. Tours take place every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available from the gift shop inside the Visitor Centre.