Pontefract Castle at centre of Magna Carta commemorations

Date: 16/06/2015

PR 4976

More than 800 years ago, Baron John De Lacy should have inherited Pontefract Castle. But he was disinherited by King John and became one of the first noble men to take up arms in an uprising which resulted in the sealing of the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215.


This historic act will be remembered this weekend at Pontefract Castle with a variety of activities typical of the time and other periods – from medieval tile-making to falconry displays.


Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "It's going to be a great day commemorating our local link to one of the more important documents in British legal history.


"All of the traditional crafts people really bring the castle to life and give you a sense of what it may have looked like centuries ago. What a brilliant – and free – day out to have with the family."


Families can learn from experts about traditional ways to build houses, or about a variety of techniques that were used to build the castle itself. There will also be Morris Dancing, a traditional blacksmith or people could try their hand at archery.


The specialists overseeing the conservation project at the castle. Wessex Archaeology, will also be doing some hands-on archaeology demonstrations and there will be a series of community stalls.

The activities start at 11am and run until 4pm on Saturday (20 June).


People can view a copy of the original Magna Carta document, purchased by the Pontefract Magna Carta Group, at Pontefract Library.

In the evening of June 20, Heartbreak Productions present Jane Austen's Emma in the castle grounds from 7pm.


Bring a chair or picnic blanket and see this fabulous production in the atmospheric surroundings of the ruins from just £10 per person. For more information and to buy tickets visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/castleevents