Fri 13, Sat 14 and Sun 15 September, 2013

Our programme has been heavily supported by WMDC’s John Lambe (Pontefract Townscape Heritage Initiative Officer), and we thank John for his considerable time, interest and creativity in coordinating those elements of Heritage Open Days 2013, which will bring Pontefract’s rich and vibrant history to life through costumed town centre tours.

We have arranged the following events and locations, which we hope you support and enjoy!


Pontefract Barracks, Wakefield Road

Built in 1890’s, the site housed the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and later was to house the Yorks & Lancaster Regiment. Col Delaney at 10:00am and 11:30am
Narrowbeck House Farm, Knottingley Road

Built in 1810, Narrowbeck House Farm was the first liquorice farm in Pontefract, built specifically for that purpose.  Come and hear the family
descendent and liquorice expert, Tom Dixon gives talks at 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:15pm and 1:15pm.



Nelson Room, Pontefract Town Hall

Guided tours of the Town Hall, which was the first location to hold an electoral secret ballot in the northern hemisphere. Tours at 12:30pm by Allan Blaza focusing on the unique Nelson Room.


Carleton Grange, Carleton Road, Carleton

The house & estate was the home of Thomas William Tew, the son of one of the founding partners of the Leatham and Tew private bank (now Barclays). Tew, a socialite in Pontefract & London, was also a magistrate and freemason, and held other influential positions locally. Information will be displayed in the foyer. David Carlyle will be the guide between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

John Lambe has organised the following events.

Pontefract Castle & Vintage Bus

Free dungeon tours, and enjoy a living history demonstration of the making of a stained glass kiln. Visit the Castle gift shop and enjoy light refreshments, including locally made snacks. A vintage bus will make return trips between the Castle and Cornmarket, near the War Memorial. The Malt Shovel Hotel will be available if you wish to rest a while.

Pontefract Museum

See Pontefract’s rich history including the first secret ballot box, and exhibition  by Jack Hulme, ‘Extraordinary Ordinary’.

Costumed town centre tours (Town Hall, Maud’s Yard, Red Lion Hotel and the Counting House)

Come learn and be entertained through guided tours by Hugh Childers MP, Charles Maud, Robert Adam and Leonard Healaigh.

Pontefract’s fire crew will be outside the Town Hall, under the arches, which in Victorian times was the town’s very first fire station!