• 2010-01-07

    On 7th January 2010, the BBC first broadcast Michael Portillo interviewing Tom Dixon of Pontefract in his series ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ on his travels from Pontefract to Bridlington. Tom claimed to have (then) the last growing liquorice bush in Pontefract at the house of his great grandfather built in 1810. Tom showed Michael a liquorice boot made by Hillabys of Pontefract which the company had devised for United Artists’ 1925 Charlie Chaplin film ‘The Gold Rush‘ in which the starving Little Tramp cooks and eats his footwear. Liquorice had been grown and stored at Pontefract Castle around the time of the Civil War and for many years after.

  • 2021-08-17

    On 17th August 2021, episode 6 of the documentary series “Walking Tudor England” was first broadcast by 5Select when Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, an historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning professor emerita of history at the University of Roehampton and Professor Andy Wood, Professor of Social History at Durham University discussed the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536 and its strong links with Pontefract Castle, whilst in the castle grounds.

  • 2021-06-09

    On 9th June 2021, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, an historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning professor emerita of history at the University of Roehampton and Professor Andy Wood, Professor of Social History at Durham University came to Pontefract Castle to film what was to become part of Episode 6 of the television  series “Walking Tudor England”. Episode 6 concentrated on the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536 and its strong links with Pontefract Castle.

  • 2019-02-14

    On 14th February 2019, to commemorate the death of Richard II, A video ‘The Sacred King‘ was published on YouTube. The film which was shot in the ‘dungeon’ at Pontefract Castle, was of the often-called ‘prison speech’ from William Shakespeare’s historical tragedy Richard II, taken from the beginning of Act 5, Scene 5. The scene of the king’s final speech had never been filmed at the historic site before. The Sacred King was directed by Yvonne Morley, filmed by Ben Porter, performed by Mark Burghagen with music by Shakespeare contemporary John Dowland, performed by tenor John Potter and lutenist Jacob Heringman.

  • 2019-01-10

    On 10th January 2019, ‘The Sacred King’ was filmed in the ‘dungeon’ at Pontefract Castle. It was a filmed version of the often-called ‘prison speech’ from William Shakespeare’s historical tragedy Richard II, taken from the beginning of Act 5, Scene 5. The scene of the king’s final speech had never been filmed at the historic site before. The Sacred King was directed by Yvonne Morley, filmed by Ben Porter, performed by Mark Burghagen with music by Shakespeare contemporary John Dowland, performed by tenor John Potter and lutenist Jacob Heringman

  • 2019-10-01

    On 1st November 2019, DigVentures started a five-weeks’ archaeological dig to uncover the gatehouse that had protected Pontefract Castle’s main entrance in the 1300s.

  • 2017-09-08

    On 8th September 2017, the Elizabeth Love Will Trust (No. 1174576) was registered as a charity to establish and run a museum at 6 Castle Chain, Pontefract in accordance with the last will and testament of Elizabeth Love.

  • 2015-08-25

    On 25th August 2015, Wakefield Council announced that work on the £3.5 million ‘Key to the North’ project would start at Pontefract Castle in September. The work would include carrying out conservation work to the monument to take the castle off Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register. The work also restored and extended the Arts and Crafts Barn to improve learning facilities. A shop, exhibition space and Cafe was also provided. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (£3.04 million) and Historic England, Wakefield Council, The Wolfson Foundation and the charity EPaC

  • 2019-08-01

    The Key to the North project was completed in 2019 and, on Yorkshire Day that year, Historic England announced to a crowd of castle visitors that it would be removing the castle from its Heritage At Risk register where it had been listed since 2003. This was one of the key aims of the project. The £5 million project, which included a new visitor centre, extensive conservation of the monument, a viewing platform, new paths and a bandstand, was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, the Council, the Wolfson Foundation and landfill charity EpaC.

  • 2020-07-27

    On 27th July 2020, DigVentures returned to Pontefract Castle in a three-weeks’ archaeological dig to finish excavating the drawbridge pit that they had unearthed in 2019. Funded by Historic England, the project was an opportunity to carry out further investigation of the gatehouse following the unexpected discovery of the remains of a barbican and drawbridge pit during the Key to the North project in 2016. Wakefield Council was supported and advised on the excavations by Historic England and the West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service (WYAAS).The excavations revealed some interesting masons’ marks and artefacts that helped to date the gatehouse as well as an 8m deep drawbridge pit.