West Riding of Yorkshire

Pontefract Church, West Riding of Yorkshire

The earliest church in Pontefract stood near the site of today's All Saint's Church and was constructed around 800 AD, although it may have been predated by a wooden structure.

The current building is mostly of Norman date and probably was built alongside the Castle which stands at the top of the hill.  It was in the Castle that Richard II met his "mysterious" death (marking out the Castle as "bloody Pomfret" in Shakespeare's play).

The Civil War came to Pontefract which was then the strongest Castle in Northern England and suffered no less than three sieges. The Church's proximity to the Castle proved unfortunate as it was reduced to a ruin by the fighting going on around it.

A small part of today's church has been repaired and turned into a working building, but otherwise the gaunt ruin is worth a look on your way to the Castle.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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