New homes in Pontefract
New homes in Pontefract
Welcome to Pontefract
Whether you’re exploring castles, taking a walk through the park or watching the horse racing, there’s lots to see and do in the West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract. Historically known for its liquorice sweets and confectionary, today the town is a bustling and friendly place to live, all within easy reach of Leeds and Doncaster.
A quick history
Evidence of human life around Pontefract stretches all the way back to Neolithic times, including the settlement at Ferrybridge Henge which is dated between 3000 and 2500 BC. The town is located on a Roman road connecting Doncaster and York, which was used as an alternative to the main Roman road in the area, Ermine Street.
During Anglo-Saxon times, modern Pontefract was divided into two settlements: Kirkby and Tanshelf. Pontefract Castle was built during the Norman Era, and in 1400 King Richard II was killed there. By the Middle Ages, Pontefract had become a market town, and there are still weekly markets to this day.
Pontefract Castle was used as a stronghold for the Royalists during the English Civil War in the 17th century and was severely damaged by the Parliamentarians. It was around this time that people began growing liquorice in their gardens, and the town went on to become famous for the medicinal Pontefract Cake. By the 19th century, the liquorice was used mainly for confectionary.
Business and industry
Industry in Pontefract has historically centred around liquorice, and today the town is home to companies including Haribo Dunhills and Tangerine Confectionary, who make DipDab, Blackjacks and Flumps among other well-known sweets.
There are a number of major employers within commuting distance of Pontefract. Leeds is home to Asda, Arla Foods, Jet2.com and First Direct, while Doncaster is home to DFS Furniture and Stoneacre Motor Group.
Things to do in the area
One of the most treasured attractions in Pontefract is the market which takes place on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. There’s also an annual Liquorice Festival, where you can enjoy plenty of food, drink and live entertainment.
The town is also home to a number of historic sites, including the remains of the 11th century Pontefract Castle. At Pontefract Museum you can learn all about local history, including exhibits about liquorice growing and branding through the centuries, while Pontefract Racecourse is popular for days out all year round.
If you love getting out and about in the countryside, there are lots of places to enjoy fresh air in Pontefract. The town is home to Harewood Park, Willow Park and Valley Gardens, while the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District National Parks are perfect for an action-packed day trip cycling or hiking.
For those with children, you won’t be short of inspiration for day trips. You and the kids can ride real diggers at Diggerland Yorkshire, practice snowsports at SNO!zone, or hire a pedalo at Hemsworth Water Park, perfect for children young and old.
Travel and commuting
Pontefract is close to the M62 and A1(M), and has three train stations. The journey to Wakefield from Pontefract takes around 20 minutes by car or train, and Leeds can be reached in 25 minutes by car or 30 minutes by train. Doncaster is a 30-minute drive from Pontefract and Sheffield is 45 minutes away, so there are lots of options for commuters.
If you’re travelling to London, the quickest way to reach the capital is by train with the service from Pontefract Monkhill taking around one hour 50 minutes. When you’re going on holiday, the drive to Doncaster Sheffield Airport takes just 35 minutes.