From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Pontefract Castle
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Category
County
Coordinates
Grid
Condition
Age
Cost
Castle
West Yorkshire
53° 41′ 44″ N 1° 18′ 14″ W
SE4595722373
Ruin
1070
Free
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Pontefract Castle is located in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. It is thought that King Richard II was murdered in the castle and it also played a part in the English Civil War.

The castle was built on a rocky outcrop in 1070, by Ilbert de Lacy, on land granted to him by William the Conqueror and is later mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086.

During the Reign of King Henry I, in the 12th century, the castle was confiscated from the De Lacy family as they refused to support the King during Henry's power struggle with his brother. King Richard I allowed the De Lacy family to return to the castle as tenants for the price of 3,000 marks. The De Lacy's lived in there until the early 14th century.

In 1311, Pontefract castle was controlled by the House of Lancaster, but in 1322, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster was beheaded outside the walls of the castle after he was defeated in the Battle of Boroughbridge by King Edward II.

In 1536, Thomas Darcy handed the castle to the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, a Catholic rebellion against King Henry VIII. Darcy was executed by the King, for this act of treason.

The castle was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil war, it was besieged three times by the Parliamentarian forces. It was slighted in 1644.