Tenants help preserve castle heritage

Stones from the same quarry as the castle were discovered during work to Horsefair Flats, they are being donated to the castle's restoration project.L-R Sally Holdsworth (WDH) and Jenny Dobson (Chairperson of Horsefair and Micklegate Tenants Association)
Stones from the same quarry as the castle were discovered during work to Horsefair Flats, they are being donated to the castle's restoration project.L-R Sally Holdsworth (WDH) and Jenny Dobson (Chairperson of Horsefair and Micklegate Tenants Association)

Tenants at Horsefair flats have left no stone unturned after helping to play a part in the restoration of Pontefract Castle.

Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) was conducting an environmental audit outside the flats when it was found that tree roots surrounding the Baxtergate stone wall were making it unstable.

Members of Horsefair and Micklegate Tenants’ and Residents’ Association then suggested the stone might once have played a part in the castle’s history, and testing provided the stone is from the same limestone quarry as the castle stone.

WDH has now returned the stone to its rightful royal home to help with preservation of the castle.

Jenny Dobson, chairman of the tenants’ and residents’ association, said: “I’m so glad the stone has been returned, as my great-grandchildren love coming here and it means the castle will be here for years to come.”

Joanne Smith, WDH area manager, said: “Stone used for preservation can come from anywhere in the country providing it’s the same kind, so to find this stone a stone’s throw from the castle is brilliant.

“We are really pleased to be involved in maintaining the castle’s conditions, as it’s a popular attraction and an interesting part of Pontefract’s history.

The Baxtergate stone will be used to replace stones surrounding the Gascoigne Tower, once used to imprison Richard II, and will also help restore other parts of the castle. Work is due to start in 2015.