Pontefract Castle to feature on national television docu-drama

Pontefract Castle will feature in a national television programme on Thursday.

The castle, the site of the death of King Richard II in 1400, will be one of the backdrops for a scene in the docu-drama Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty on Channel Five at 9pm.

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We’re delighted to see yet more national interest in Pontefract Castle and are very pleased that it will be featuring in this Channel Five programme.

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“The castle is a real jewel in Pontefract’s crown and by raising the its profile in this way more people will become aware of its importance, giving a further boost to Pontefract, and the wider district.”

A multi-million pound restoration project of the site will start next May.

A £3.5m project will allow parts of the castle not seen since the 17th century to be opened up.

A new visitor centre, with a cafe and classroom facilities will also open at the site.

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The project has been funded through a £3.045m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £455,000 from the council and English Heritage.

As part of the project, the castle’s Sally Port and Swillington Tower, which have not been accessible since 1649, will be opened up.

The new visitor centre is expected to open by summer or autumn 2016.

The restoration work should take four years to complete.

Coun Shaw said: “The funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund will help put Pontefract on the map and be used to preserve the rich and interesting history of the castle.”

For more information on the project or events being held at Pontefract Castle visit the Wakefield Council website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/residents/events-and-culture/castles/pontefract-castle