Heritage Open Days at the Castles

​Date: 09/09/2015
Ref: PR 5054


Wakefield Council is supporting the national Heritage Open Days with Pontefract and Sandal Castles holding events next weekend (12 and 13 September).

Pontefract Castle is hosting a free event on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September, 11 am to 3 pm. Visitors are invited to attend to find out more about the exciting developments taking place at Pontefract Castle.

Conservation tours are taking place throughout the weekend where people can have an introduction to the £3.5m Heritage Lottery Fund project the Key to the North, with the improvement works beginning on site this week. There will also be free tours of the castles historic dungeon, the magazine, which was used to house prisoners during the civil war.

On Saturday 12 September the event will be part of the castles' programme of Conservation Days, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). At Pontefract Castle there will be historic craft demonstrations including an apothecary, falconry displays, historic music and May Pole dancing. On both Saturday and Sunday the York City Levy re-enactors group will be demonstrating historic crafts, skills and cookery at their historic camp.

Sandal Castle is also hosting a free event on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September, 11 am to 3 pm. This includes the Friends of Sandal Castle hosting the Sir Thomas Lunsford Regiment where the group with bring an historic Civil Wars battle camp, with battle drill and camp demonstrations running throughout the weekend. The St Thomas Lunsford's Regiment of Foote is a Royalist regiment and thus part of The Kings Army or the Roundheads. They will be demonstrating the traditional crafts that would be practiced in battle camps as well as demonstrations on the arms and armour of the civil war.

Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "There is a lot going on at the Castles this weekend in celebration of our local heritage. We have two world famous castles on our doorstep with a wealth of history, which are well worth visiting.

"These events really bring the Castle sites to life so it's the perfect opportunity for people to widen their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our local heritage.

"Visitors to Pontefract Castle this year will also be able to learn about our fantastic Key to the North Project which is bringing improvements to the Castle to help put the district on the heritage map."

Heritage Open Days is a national annual scheme to let people learn more about their local heritage. The scheme publicises many attractions that aren't normally open to the public and other free events that give people extra access to sites.

Castleford Museum will also be hosting a day of Roman fashion and luxury on Saturday 12 September as part of the Roman Festival taking place in the town centre.

For more information visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/castles