Things to see and do at Pontefract Museum

Step inside our beautiful art nouveau building and find out more about the rich history of Pontefract. From liquorice to glass making, we have lots to show you.

Download our theme map to find out what to expect in the Museum.

Ladies Who Launch: Celebrating Pontefract’s women in business

Until 19 October 2024

Explore the fascinating history of women in business in Pontefract!
Get hands on and try some of the trades from past and present. 
Step back in time to sample the sights and scents of Victorian Pontefract.
Celebrate the success stories of today’s inspirational businesswomen.
Tell us about the inspirational women in your life with our Wall of Fame!

More information about Ladies who Launch: Celebrating Pontefract’s women in business.

You can download a sensory map for the Ladies who Launch exhibition (Word, 320 KB) here.

"Ladies Who Launch" exhibition at Pontefract Museum

‘Boxed In (From Whence You Came)’

Until 19 October 2024

‘Boxed In (From Whence You Came)’ is a brand-new artwork by Pontefract’s own Fern Woodhead (they / them).
Fern says the artwork is about “being a queer person in an inherently non-queer society.”
The striking self-portrait is a response to Fern’s identity. Fern is a non-binary person and a lesbian. 
The display includes supporting commentary written by Fern. There are also personal items that they have kindly lent for the exhibition.

More information about ‘Boxed In (From Whence You Came)’.

‘Boxed In (From Whence You Came)’ exhibition at Pontefract Museum

Ackworth Hoard

The Ackworth Hoard was found buried in a garden in Wakefield, inside a pot made locally in Wrenthorpe.

This 200-year-old hoard is the only one found in the Wakefield District. It’s made up of almost 600 gold and silver coins and one gold ring and can be linked to Royalist troops during the English Civil Wars.

A hoard full of gold and silver coins and a gold ring

Ballot Box

Britain’s first secret ballot was held in Pontefract in 1872 and we have the first ballot box on display in Pontefract Museum. 

Download a comic about the first ballot created thanks to a collaboration between Wakefield Council and artist Jade Sarson

A ballot box kept in a glass cage

We have a regular programme of events and activities at the Museum throughout the year. Click here for info on upcoming events.

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