Rolling stones back to castle

Mrs Fran Perry from Pontefract. Returning stone back to the castle, after 30 years. The original castle stone is now needed to form part of the ongoing repairs to the castle and surrounding associated buildings.'p4772a112
Mrs Fran Perry from Pontefract. Returning stone back to the castle, after 30 years. The original castle stone is now needed to form part of the ongoing repairs to the castle and surrounding associated buildings.'p4772a112
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FOR more than 30 years, historic stones from Pontefract Castle have travelled with resident Fran Perry as she has moved across the country.

The 40 sandstone rocks, which were given to her by a neighbour, have adorned gardens at the 62-year-old’s different homes over the years.

But after reading a report in the Express about restoration work at the 900-year-old castle, Ms Perry has decided to give the stones back so they can be used in a £560,000 project to improve the site.

She said: “I just thought ‘I want the stones to go home’.

“I can’t wait to see them back in pride of place at the castle.”

Mrs Perry, of Kingsmead, was given the rocks by a former neighbour, the late Granville Moxon, when she lived in the Larks Hill area around 30 years ago.

She said: “People came by them during the siege – they took them away and built things, like bridges.

“They’re absolutely beautiful rocks, people would pay a lot of money for them these days.

“I don’t know how Mr Moxon acquired them, but he’d had them for a number of years as well.

“I really loved them and put them in my garden.”

When Mrs Perry moved from Pontefract to Hampshire she took the rocks with her – and they have travelled with her to a number of other addresses.

She is now giving them back to West Yorkshire Achaeological Society so they can be used in a project to improve the castle for tourists.

The first phase of the Wakefield Council and English Heritage funded scheme saw repairs to the building’s stairs and the replacement of broken stones.

A second phase will concentrate on repairs to the castle tower and landscaping of the trees to improve views for visitors.

Ms Perry said: “The stones mean a lot to me. Some of them have been working rocks – my son used a few of them to stop his dog digging around an area of his garden.

“I’ve got around 40 of them, which will be collected this week. They’ve been verified as being from the castle.

“There must be a lot of them around town. When you know what you’re looking for it’s easy to spot them in people’s gardens and in walls.

“I really hope this causes a domino effect of people giving the rocks back.

“I’ve been shown exactly where my rocks will be used at the castle – they will be used at the Gascoigne Tower.

“The rocks are unique and can’t be recreated, so if anyone has any I would urge them to give them back.

“I think it’s fabulous that they are going home and can’t wait to see them back where they belong.”

Anyone with stones they would like to return should contact Pontefract Museum on 01977 722740.