Exciting archaeological dig at Pontefract Castle


Just when you thought that Pontefract Castle graduating from Historic England’s At Risk register was it … there is more.

Another dig gets started in October 2019 and the public can come see archaeology in action.

Led by Dig Ventures, members of the public are taking part in unearthing some of the mysteries behind the recently discovered medieval gatehouse at Pontefract Castle.

Funded by Historic England and delivered by archaeologists Dig Ventures, the project offers fantastic opportunities for visitors of any age to get their hands dirty and become archaeologists for the day.

The dig will start with a talk on 5 October from the specialist archaeology team from Dig Ventures, sharing their thoughts on what they hope to find as the project unfolds over the six week excavation.

The investigations are taking place following the unexpected discovery of the remains of a barbican and drawbridge pit during the Key to the North project in 2016.

All events, which take place on weekdays and weekends, are free of charge and can be booked online where there will be regular updates on the project. In additional to bookable activities, there will be free daily archaeology tours from Saturday 5 October to Sunday 3 November (excluding Thursday 31 October) at 2pm.

A member of the Dig team will show visitors around the excavation site and talk about some of the exciting finds that have been uncovered.

For schools, there is a special archaeology workshop available during the dig, it is aimed at Key Stage 2 classes, during the weeks of the 7th and 14th October. It is free but booking is essential. There are two sessions each day with a maximum of 30 places per workshop. Contact museumslearning@wakefield.gov.uk for details.

Wakefield Council is supported and advised on the excavations by Historic England and our partners at West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service.