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Pontefract Castle

Archaeological excavations, 1982-86
Ian Roberts

This is a most attractive item, combining a traditional emphasis on thorough research and analysis with a modern approach to presentation, which results in a most successful publication. The volume is readable, informative and a pleasure to look at. Text and graphics are used in harmony on every page, colour abounds, and the whole is contained in a sturdy, well-designed cover which also folds out to reveal a large, phased plan of the site.
The background to the Honour of Pontefract is explained, and a brief account of its lords contains sufficient detail to help the reader link Pontefract with well-known national developments. The reader is helpfully reminded of the interest the area holds in earlier times, and a synopsis of Pontefract's development from prehistoric times onwards is provided. The documented and physical history of the site is described, and further sections are devoted to the process of castle-building and the reality of life in a castle. The famous sieges of the 1640s are dealt with in detail, and the fate of the castle in subsequent generations outlined. The excavations, carried out from 1982-86, are related fully, and their results skilfully summarized.
This is more than a guidebook. It provides a good general background to what a medieval castle was about, and would be a valuable item for educational use even where a visit to the site might not be practicable. For any visitor, amateur or professional, the volume is a most helpful one. For the professional, the plans, reconstructions and up-to-date account of recent research are invaluable. (John Kenyon in Castle Studies Group Newsletter No. 4)
489 pages of detail. Great.
See also the Gatehouse record for Pontefract Castle.

Published by West Yorkshire Archaeology Service (Yorkshire Archaeology 8) (2002)
ISBN: 978-1870453288

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Last updated on Friday, March 10, 2017