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Castle:Pontefract Castle

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Castle, free entry


Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle


Castle Chain,
West Yorkshire,


*Information correct as of 6 January 2021*

Following the recent Government announcement Pontefract Castle grounds and toilets will remain open to the public during the hours as currently advertised and the Liquorice Café will be serving takeaway food and drink.
Our play area, gift shop and activity zone are CLOSED.
To ensure that the environment remains safe and enjoyable for everyone, please follow all signs.
For more information from Wakefield Council, visit:


Discover a place where kings were feted, and killed. Explore the remnants of ferocious sieges, and Victorian pleasure grounds. Imagine loyal Royalist soldiers, and enterprising liquorice farmers. Visit Pontefract Castle.

Since its construction in 1070 until its destruction nearly six centuries later, this once-fearsome fortress dominated the politics and power balance of the entire Yorkshire region and beyond, earning the nickname, “Key to the North”.

So great was its infamy that Shakespeare included Pontefract Castle in two of his plays, Richard II (who was murdered at the castle) and Richard III.

During the Civil War, the castle endured three bitter sieges. Eventually, the Royalists were forced to concede defeat. Cromwell ordered the castle demolished, and it fell into disrepair.

Afterwards, the site was employed for a variety of unusual uses, including as a Victorian pleasure ground, as well as growing and storing Pontefract’s most famous crop – liquorice!

Today, the castle is a place of family-friendly adventure, with wide open spaces to explore and play, and fascinating ruins to investigate.

Discover the captivating stories of the castle in the History of Pontefract Castle displays. Stand in the remains of the bread ovens, and be transported to a time when the castle was equipped for lavish banquets, hosting some of England's most famous monarchs.

If you haven't been for a while, now is the time to visit. We look forward to welcoming you soon!

Limited parking is available on site and in nearby town centre car parks.

Coach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsRegional Tourist Board MemberAccepts groups

Children welcomeMobility Accessibility FacilitiesDogs acceptedHearing Accessibility FacilitiesVisual Accessibility Facilities

Opening details

Opening Hours (From 1 April - 30 September 2021)
Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am - 5pm

Liquorice Cafe takeaway:
Monday & Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday - Friday: 10am - 3pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am - 4pm

Visitor Centre Gift Shop: open from 13 April
Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Monday: Closed

Monday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm


Free entry


Plan route to Pontefract Castle using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SE 460222  Lat: 53.69421 Long: -1.30481

By Road:
M62 jct32
Continue onto Park Road (A639)
Turn left onto Southgate (A645)

For car parking:
Turn left onto North Baileygate. Car park located off Beech Hill. WF8 2JF

Disabled car-parking spaces are available at the Castle gates (approach via Spink Lane or Micklegate).

By Public Transport:
Nearest train station: Monkhill/Baghill Railway Station
Nearest bus station: Pontefract Bus Station

Walk from Pontefract town centre via Horsefair, Micklegate and Castle Chain.

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Pontefract, Monkhill station


  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Mobility Accessibility FacilitiesMobility Accessibility Facilities
  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted
  • Hearing Accessibility FacilitiesHearing Accessibility Facilities
  • Visual Accessibility FacilitiesVisual Accessibility Facilities