The Great Hall

Tour of Pontefract Castle, part 2

When you stand on the landscaped mound at the end of the inner bailey and look back at this view of the Motte (the mound on which the keep, the strongest part of the castle is built) you are standing on the un-excavated remains of the castle's Great Hall.

Look out for three distinct types of stonework in what is left of the Great Hall;

  • Ashlar is the term for stones cut to size with such precision that no mortar shows in the joints. At Pontefract this is an indication of original medieval work.
  • Irregular work, using fragments and pebbles is medieval infill, originally hidden by masonry.
    Victorian restoration
  • Victorian restoration typically includes a variety of blocks, mostly worn or broken, which have been re-built in fairly regular layers.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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