Civil War cannon balls unearthed at Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Pontefract Castle. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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Cannon balls unearthed in the grounds of Pontefract Castle are believed to date from the English Civil War more than 350 years ago, archeologists have said

The weapons were discovered during excavation work as part of a £3.5m restoration of the castle, a noted Royalist stronghold during the war. Each ball is a different size, suggesting the castle was targeted with different guns at various times during the nine-year conflict.

Alison Wollerton of the Pontefract Heritage Group said: “During the civil war, which began in 1642, the castle was an important garrison in the north of England. It was besieged three times, being held by royalists, parliamentarians then royalists before finally being taken by the parliamentarians.

“It was the last castle to hold out through the bloody conflict.”

The weapons will be taken away to be examined and recorded by Wessex Archaeology. After conservation, it is hoped they will go on display as part of a new visitor centre created by the Key to the North project, funded by Wakefield Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.