Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle, West Yorkshire © WMDC
Castle Chain, Pontefract WF8 1QH

Opening Times:

Wednesday to Sunday 11am to 3pm all year.

Visit Website


In the Middle Ages, Pontefract Castle was one of the most important fortresses in the north of England and a Royal castle from 1399. It is famous for the death of Richard II, who was held prisoner and later murdered here, and for the castle’s involvement during the English Civil War in the 1640s.

From medieval times through to the English Civil War period, the 11th Century cellars below Pontefract Castle were used as a magazine chamber. Visitors can visit the underground magazine, cut out of solid rock, and see where Civil War prisoners carved their names into the cell walls.


The remains of the castle and the underground magazine chamber are open to visitors and an exhibition on the site tells the story of the Castle and its owners. 

Groups wishing to visit the castle and take part in a tour of the underground magazine must book in advance.


A newly refurbished Visitor Centre provides an ideal space for learning about the castle – and for Victorian Schoolroom sessions!

Contact Details:
Tel: 01924 302700 (Educational enquiries).
Email: museumslearning@wakefield.gov. uk
Tel: 01977 723440 (General enquiries)

Learning Programmes:

The castle has a range of activities throughout the year. These include:

- Victorian Schoolroom session

- Tours of the underground Magazine

For more information or to book a group visit, please contact the Museums team.


History/Local History


Curriculum Links:

KS1/KS2/KS3/KS4 History


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