• 1919-08-12

    On 12th August 1919, the Yorkshire Miners’ Council recommended a return to work for striking miners after 200,000 British miners had been on strike refusing the Government’s offer of settlement. All but the men in the West Yorkshire section had complied by the 15th of that month with Pontefract’s 10,000 men voting against a resumption of work.

  • 1905-03-06

    It was reported by ‘The Chemist and Druggist’ that on 6th March 1905: ‘two soldiers and a shoemaker were sent to prison for one month each for being concerned in larceny at the warehouse of Mr. Alfred Collins, chemist and druggist, Corn Market, Pontefract, and stealing several bottles of wine and some soaps, pills, and Pontefract cakes.’

  • 1942-08-08

    On 8th August 1942, Ewbanks liquorice factory in Pontefract was badly burned by German incendiaries with the pan, gum and liquorice rooms all damaged causing the factory to be put out of action. During this time, neighbouring Pontefract sweet manufacturers made some Ewbanks’ sweets with some Ewbanks’ workers making parachutes.

  • 1903-10-31

    On 31st October 1903, ‘The Builder’ magazine reported that eight tenders had been received ‘for the erection of a free library, Salter-row for the Corporation of Pontefract with ……….Henry Gundhill’s (of Pontefract) £1744 4s 8d accepted (£217,000 in today’s money)…… £150 (£18,650) allowed for wood block floors not included in the contract’

  • 1902-07-30

    On 30th July 1902, Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates recorded: ‘ Mohill Union (County Leitrim, Ireland) – Paupers sent from Pontefract to Mohill, Withdrawal of Grant of Five Shillings Outdoor Relief by the Pontefract Guardians.’

  • 1966-07-22

    On 22nd July 1966, Ferrybridge Henge and two round barrows were first listed and protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument: List Entry Number: 1005789. A Neolithic henge near Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire (grid reference SE47462424), it is close to the A1 and M62 and Ferrybridge power station. Ferrybridge Henge is the furthest south of Yorkshire’s henges, and is the only one in West Yorkshire.  There was activity on the site before the current henge in the form of circular monuments and hengiform monuments dating from 3500 BC to 3000 BC. Ferrybridge Henge dates from around 3000 BC to 2500 BC. Around 2000 BC–1500 BC, during the early Bronze Age, barrow burials were performed on the site. Inhumations were discovered with grave goods such as ceramic pots and flint tools. The area was probably abandoned from about 1500 BC to 500 BC when there was some reoccupation by Iron Age farmers. The henge was not cultivated and may have been retained as a shrine for the Iron Age people of the area and later during the Romano-British period. An Iron Age sword scabbard was discovered in the inner henge ditch as well as a Roman coin. That burials continued in the area around the henge in the Saxon period despite the presence of a Christian cemetery nearby has been taken as evidence of pagan beliefs prevailing in the area. Ferrybridge Henge and its surrounding area were used as farmland during the medieval period.

    The site was excavated by West Yorkshire Archaeological Services in 1991. In 2007, a suspected extension of the henge was unearthed near Pontefract. It was discovered when archaeologists were investigating a site intended for the construction of a row of houses; once the archaeological survey was complete, the construction went ahead. Ferrybridge Henge is a circular site and is about 180 metres (590 ft) in diameter. The henge is surrounded by two ditches and a bank. The inner ditch is 10 metres (33 ft) wide and 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) deep. There is a 15-metre (49 ft) wide berm between the inner ditch and a 15-metre (49 ft) wide limestone bank. Separating the bank from the outer ditch is another berm, also 15 metres (49 ft) wide; the outer ditch is 12 metres (39 ft) wide and 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) deep. This layout is typical of other henges. The site has two entrances, one in the north east and one in the south west.


  • 1939-04-16

    On 16th April 1939, before the outbreak of World War II, six thousand people attended a National Service Rally in Pontefract Castle grounds. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer reported that this “rendered conscription unnecessary”.

  • 1941-02-05

    On 5th February 1941, Pontefract Corporation approved £513 (nearly £27,000 in today’s money) for the adaptation of the refreshment room at Pontefract Castle into a mortuary for civilians killed during World War II.

  • 1942-08-28

    On 28th and 29th August 1942, over 450 local people staged a pageant at Pontefract Castle with soldiers and members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (women’s branch of the British Army during World War II) portraying notable events in the castle’s history. Music was provided by the band of the York and Lancaster Regiment.

  • 1926-08-14

    On 14th August 1926, a dog show, promoted by the West Riding Branch of the British Alsatian Association, was held in the grounds of Pontefract Castle.