Market, Mill (wind and water), Museum, National Park, News, North East England, Places, Roman

Castleford in West Yorkshire a market town rich in history and archeology

Castleford Museum © Wakefield Council
Castleford Museum © Wakefield Council

Castleford in West Yorkshire, a C20th coal-mining town, rests above earlier settlements on land which is rich with archaeology. Late C20th building work in the town centre opened the way for digs which reveal the details of earlier times. Today, Wakefield Council has an interesting guide to the archaelogy and some finds are on display at Castleford Museum. Castleford Male Voice Choir is over 90 years old! and performs in the many great venues in West Yorkshire.

Prehistoric Castleford

Neolithic and Bronze Age finds of pottery and flint show that people lived in Castleford in pre-historic times. In the Iron Age there were well-established farms here and nearby. People lived in round houses and had metal tools.

Romans

Romans occupied northern Britain from about AD 71 -74. At Castleford they built the fort they called Lagentium. Other settlements, and another fort, have been found here. A staging post between Doncaster and York; the Fourth Cohort of Gauls protected the road and river.

Roman life here was familiar. There is a bath-house, and granaries have raised floors to protect grain from damp and pests. The officer lived apart from the barracks in a separate house in which domestic and military artefacts remain. There was also a workshop. A rampart, which was 6m wide and 5m high and set inside a steep ditch, protected the fort.

Castleford after the Romans

In Anglo-Saxon times, Ceaster forda, or the crossing by the fort, appeared in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles in 948. Although, today little remains of Anglo-Saxon or Norman life. The village grew until it became an industrial town in the C19th. Coal mining was the biggest industry, but there was also glass works and potteries. Queen’s Mill, once the largest stone grinding mill in the world, had twenty pairs of grinding stones. In 2017 the Mill was visited by the The International Molinological Society (TIMS). It is the only Society dedicated to wind, water and animal-driven mills.

Well situated in the proud county of Yorkshire, Castleford has plenty to inspire a visit. Yorkshire has three national parks, miles of beautiful heritage coast, a wealth towns and cities, and 2663 ancient monuments. Read here a guide to the County and its many attractions.

The Tigers Rugby League Club

The Castleford Tigers is one of the most famous Rugby League Clubs in the UK. Its players have achieved worldwide acclaim. 32 players have been Great Britain Internationals and 29 played for England. The Club is extremely proud of its four Wembley Challenge Cup victories in 1935, 1969, 1970 and 1986. The Tigers Trust is the community, charitable arm of the club.

The Market Hall

Northern markets are always a draw and The Market Hall, which hosts more than 80 traders, is no exception. As well as the wide range of retailers, there are also cafes so you can take a break and watch the shoppers. The market is open six days a week from Monday through to Saturday. There is also an open market on four days a week (closed Wednesday and Thursday). On Thursday there is also a popular second-hand market.

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