New homes in Pontefract
New homes in Pontefract
Whether you’re shopping in the town centre, exploring historical sites or hiking in the surrounding countryside, there’s plenty to see and do close to your new house in Pontefract. Located in West Yorkshire and just a short commute from Leeds, Doncaster and Wakefield, Pontefract could tick all the right boxes and be the perfect place for your family’s next home.
A quick history
The history of Pontefract goes back to Saxon times when the modern day town was two separate villages. Over time the villages merged, and the new town was renamed Pontefract in the 12th century. Pontefract Castle, which overlooks the market place, was built in the Norman era, and over the centuries that followed it became an important royal site. In 1400 King Richard II was held prisoner and later died at the castle, which was eventually destroyed during the English Civil War.
After the Civil War, the town began producing liquorice and the marketplace became central to local life. Sweet-making peaked in the early to mid-20th century, when Pontefract Cake was the town’s most famous export. In 1872 Pontefract held the UK’s first secret ballot in the town’s by-election.
Business and industry
Although liquorice declined in popularity in the mid-20th century, Pontefract maintains its sweet-making heritage as the home of two large confectionary manufacturers; Haribo Dunhills and Tangerine Confectionary, makers of Fruit Salads, Butterkist and Refreshers.
Many people living in Pontefract commute to nearby Leeds for work, which is home to the headquarters of Arla Foods, The Yorkshire Bank, Tetley’s Brewery, Asda and Jet2.com. Doncaster is also home to a number of major employers including Stoneacre Motor and DFS Furniture.
Things to do in the area
One of the most popular attractions in Pontefract is the local market, which takes place every day except Sunday. If you want to buy fresh produce and support local businesses, it’s a great place to shop. There’s also an open-air market on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and if you want to browse designer and high street stores, Junction 32 Outlet Shopping Centre is only a short drive away.
To discover more about the town’s rich history, you can pay a visit to Pontefract Museum or wander through the remains of the 11th-century castle. Wakefield Museum and the West Yorkshire History Centre are also nearby.
If you’re moving to the area with children, there are lots of great family-friendly attractions near to Pontefract, including Swithens Farm, Diggerland Yorkshire and SNO!zone indoor skiing and snowboarding slope. There are lots of green spaces in the town, including Valley Gardens, Harewood Park and Willow Park, perfect for sunny summer days.
If you enjoy getting active, you can go hiking in the nearby Peak District National Park, go fishing at Hemsworth Water Park, or play a round of golf at Mid Yorkshire Golf Club. Pontefract also holds a Liquorice Festival each year, bringing fairground rides, live music and local crafts to the town.
Travel and commuting
If you’re commuting to work or going to meet friends and family, there are lots of travel options from your new home in Pontefract. The M62 and A1(M) are nearby, while the town’s three train stations have regular services to towns and cities across the UK.
For trips to Wakefield, both the drive and train journey take around 20 minutes from Pontefract. Leeds is 25 minutes away by car or 30 minutes by train, while Doncaster can be reached in 30 minutes.
London is only one hour 50 minutes away from Pontefract Monkhill station, while Doncaster Sheffield Airport is only a 35-minute drive from the town, ideal if you’re going on holiday or taking a business trip.