Blue plaques plan to boost town’s heritage

Pontefract Civic Society to put up another thirty new blue plaques, which signify places of historical importance.'L & R) Paul Cartwright and Peter Cookson.'p4814a113

Pontefract Civic Society to put up another thirty new blue plaques, which signify places of historical importance.'L & R) Paul Cartwright and Peter Cookson.'p4814a113

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PONTEFRACT’S rich heritage is to be highlighted in a scheme to install special plaques at historic sites in the town.

Pontefract Civic Society plans to invest in 30 blue plaques, which identify particular areas of historical interest or importance, as part of a project to raise the town’s profile and boost tourism.

There are currently 26 plaques in Pontefract town centre, but the society intends to double the figure to help create a “blue plaque tour”.

Paul Cartwright, secretary for the society, said: “We’re trying to build things into Pontefract to encourage visitors to come and look at buildings and architecture.

“Many plaques that exist are for buildings and streets, which is fine, but there are other buildings of note, businesses, and characters or families from the past which depict Pontefract’s rich heritage.

“It’s going to take a long time but I think with small steps we can make Pontefract more attractive as a place to visit.”

Plaques are already installed outside buildings such as the town hall, Buttercross and St Giles’ Church, but the society is hoping to look outside Pontefract’s conservation area.

Mr Cartwright said: “Existing locations of plaques are really close together, so we won’t exclude additional ones in that area, but we will extend outwards. If there’s a good case, why wouldn’t we?

“We’ve created a long list of nominations from historical records of the town and we will also look in the villages such as Badsworth, Ackworth and Darrington. There’s definitely some little gems out there.”

New visitor boards have also been installed in Pontefract town centre by Wakefield Council to provide visitors with information about the town’s history and heritage, as part of a programme to promote tourism.