West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
Welcome to Pontefractus.co.uk
Pontefract Coat of Arms 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.
Pontefract 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 where liquorice 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.
Latest Additions To Our Website
17 Feb John Poulson and Pontefract - Dave Barry
03 Jan Disaster at Darrington - Brian Lunn
02 Jan Growing up in Baghill - Jack Downing
02 Jan Memories of the 1930s - William Wood
07 Dec Pontefract Museum Photo Gallery 9
06 Dec Years in Focus - Pontefract in 1946
05 Dec Recollections of Pontefract - Marguerite Boughton
25 Nov A Lark Rising - David Loynes
21 Nov Years in Focus - Pontefract in 1980
20 Nov Pontefract King's School Song - Peter Cookson
20 Nov Pontefract King's School Song - Words by Frank Forrest
20 Nov Destruction at Darrington, September 1943
18 Nov Years in Focus - Pontefract in 1959
17 Nov Years in Focus - Pontefract in 1944
17 Nov Years In Focus - Pontefract in 1948
19 Oct Pontefract King's School Magazine 1922 (Typed Version)
15 Oct Growing Up In Grovetown Part Five - Ken Fox
15 Oct Willow Park Dog Track - Terry Spencer
08 Oct William - A Constant Companion - Jean Norfolk
05 Oct Pontefract Municipal Offices Opening - Ponte Advertiser 1932
05 Oct Pontefract Floods 1932 - Pontefract Advertiser 1932
05 Oct King's School Opening Ceremony - Ponte Advertiser 1932
05 Oct King's School - Summary of History - Ponte Advertiser 1932
04 Oct Monkhill Boys Lost in Sand Quarries - Ponte Advertiser 1923
04 Oct Big Fire in Pontefract - 26 May 1923
04 Oct Destructive Conflagration in Pontefract - 6 November 1920
04 Oct Garage Completely Gutted - Pontefract Advertiser 1923
03 Oct Unveiling of Pontefract War Memorial - Ponte Advertiser 1923
02 Oct Pontefract Collieries Football Club - Rod Naylor
Spotlight on Previous Articles
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.. Read more...

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. Read more...
Selected Photo Galleries
Pontefract Postcard Views Postcard Views
A collection of postcard views of Pontefract
View Gallery
(7 pages available)

Pontefract School Photographs School Photographs
Pontefract School Photographs
View Gallery
(2 pages available)

Pontefract Steam Railway Photographs Railway Photographs
Steam Railway Photographs
View Gallery
(4 pages available)

David Gluck senior Photograph Gallery David Gluck
A collection of photographs by David Gluck
View Gallery
(3 pages available)


Site constructed and maintained by Michael Norfolk
This website is Copyright 2005-2014 [www.pontefractus.co.uk] All Rights Reserved

This page was last updated on 12 September, 2014