This Day in History: 2017-01-19

On 19th January 2017, Elizabeth Love, last owner of the Main Guard, at 6 Castle Chain, Pontefract, died. In her will she left the building in trust to be turned into a museum. In 2005, Historic England, then called English Heritage, carried out tree-ring analysis of timbers from the Main Guard. Core samples were obtained from thirty-two different oak timbers in a wide range of locations throughout the Main Guard. The analysis of these produced a single site chronology comprising twenty-five samples, and having a combined overall length of 150 rings. The site chronology was dated as spanning the years AD 1507 to AD 1656. Interpretation of the sapwood would indicate that all the dated timbers, from the basement, ground, and first-floors, and from the roof, were cut in a single phase of felling in AD 1656. Such a date would indicate that while the stone element of the Main Guard may date to the fifteenth century, a considerable amount of work was undertaken at this site shortly after the Civil War. No earlier or later material is detected amongst the sampled timbers.