West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Local History

PONTEFRACT CASTLE

Compiled from the writings of the late Richard H. H. Holmes.

TWO DRAWBRIDGES

The modern approach from the town follows that of the past for quite a distance but there is little trace today of the entrance tower which at one time stood at the corner of Spink Lane, and none whatever of a fellow to it, which is thought to have held the facing position on the right at the angle of Micklegate and Steany Hill. At this point the mound of the Castle most nearly approached in level the eastern extremities of the similar but very much larger hill on which the town now stands ; but it is clear even today that not a vast amount of labour was needed to unite the steep valley on the western side of the Castle with the steeper and wider slopes declining to the south. A drawbridge of the type common in such circumstances, was naturally a feature of the defences at that point, as also at the eastern extremity of the Inner Barbican.

Two centuries after the demolition traces of the eastern drawbridge were discernible in Castle Chain, whilst part of the western one had been converted into a dwelling house. There is little to be seen today of the Kings Stable, on the left, which for generations was the first building to be reached within the Castle outer gates. The Main Guard, however, on the south side of the road, still stands and is in use to this day, though as a private house.


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