Fri 08 Dec 2017
Castles of Yorkshire
Built in the 11th century by Ilbert de Lacy and place of death for King Richard II, Pontefract Castle is not just one Yorkshire’s best historical monument but the country’s.
The castle has played host to Kings and Queens and even imprisoned a few during its time as well.
Outlasting two sieges, hailed as the key to the North it was described by Oliver Cromwell as the most strategic stronghold in England, however in 1649 during the civil war, the castle fell into parliamentary hands, who then decided to demolish it, rather than risk it being used against them in the future.
Pontefract Castle was the home to the second Earl of Lancaster who was executed there in 1322 for treason. Then becoming a powerful northern stronghold and was used to hold important prisoners, such as Richard II and James I of Scotland.
In 1541 King Henry VIII and his wife Catherine Howard visited the castle, it is said this is where she started the affair with Thomas Culpeper, an act that untimely claimed her life.
The castle even makes it into one of Shakespeare histories “Richard II” and is referred to as “Bloody Pomfret”.