Closing time for Counting House

The Counting House. Oldest building in Pontefract. Closed due to the building crumbling.
The Counting House. Oldest building in Pontefract. Closed due to the building crumbling.

A POPULAR pub in what is believed to be one of Pontefract’s oldest buildings has closed its doors.

The Counting House – which is supported by scaffolding – called time on its 600-year history on March 24.

As the Express reported in 2010, members of Pontefract Town Centre Partnership sent a letter to tenants Enterprise Inns urging it to reconsider running the pub amid concerns the deteriorating condition of the building was due to people dancing during gigs.

Norman Blackburn, a member of the Town Centre Partnership said: “We have been in touch with Enterprise Inns before with a view to getting the building into good condition.

“But we’re more interested in the future of it. Whether it will go back to being a pub again or some other use will have to be decided – there are people who want it restoring to a pub, there are others who want a museum.

“But it’s too good a building to just let it deteriorate. The owner Malcom Lister rescued it when it was derelict and he’s as keen to conserve it and keep it in good repair as anyone because he’s a big supporter of Pontefract.”

The Counting House was built around 1400 as a merchant’s counting house and was restored by architect Mr Lister in the 1990s.

The Express understands Mr Lister still owns The Counting House and leases it to Enterprise Inns but he could not be reached for comment.

Enterprise Inns said scaffolding was in place to “stabilise” the pub structure, with trading restricted to the ground floor only, as it investigated the extent of repairs needed.

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns said: “The condition of the premises are the subject of legal proceedings and we do not propose to comment at this time, except to say that we do not accept that there has been any failure to repair on the part of Enterprise or that the use of the premises has contributed in any way to its current condition.”