[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]
"PONTEFRACT, (or Pomfret) a market and parish-town, in the wapentake of Osgoldcross, liberty of Pontefract; 2 miles from Ferrybridge, 11 from Aberford, 9 from Wakefield, 13 from Leeds, 14 from Snaith, Barnsley, and Selby, 15 from Doncaster and Tadcaster, 17 from Wetherby, 20 from Rotherham and Thorne, 24 from York, 177 from London. Market, Saturday. Fairs, first Saturday after January 13; first Saturday before February 2; first Saturday after February 13; Saturday before Palm Sunday, Low Sunday, and Trinity Sunday; Saturday after September 12; and the first Saturday in December, for horses, horned cattle, and sheep: the Fortnight Fairs are on Saturday next after the York Fortnight Fairs. Bankers, Messrs. Leathams, Tew, Trueman, and Co. draw on Messrs. Dennison and Co. 100, Fenchurch Street; Messrs. Perfect, Hardcastle, and Co. draw on Sir J.W. Lubbock, Bart. and Co. 11, Mansion House Street. Principal Inns, Star, Red Lion, and New Elephant. Pop. 4,447. The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to All-Saints (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of Pontefract, value, ~£13. 6s. 8d. Patron, the King." (There is further information for Pontefract).
Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.
There are two? parish churches for Pontefract, one in ruins (All Saints), and the other (St. Giles) in use, but in need of restoration. The following information has been obtained by Cathy Halpin:
Information received from the West Yorkshire Archives Service indicates that All Saints was the original Parish Church in Pontefract, but was damaged and abondoned after the civil war. St Giles became the parish church at that time. Part of All Saints was restored in 1831, and it became a parish church again in 1838. Cathy goes on to say: It was interesting to see All Saints, the ruined outer structure remains, and a smaller church has been built inside the old walls. St Giles stands in the center of town. It is quite old, and is about to undergo restoration.
From the brochure published for the St Giles Church Regeneration Appeal: "St Giles church was built around 1106 on or adjacent to the original site of the preaching cross of St Oswald, named after one of the first Christian kings of Northumbria. The octagonal clock tower stands as a distinguishing landmark above Pontefract. In 1789, the Chapel of St Giles, as it was known, became the Parish Church of Pontefract. Since then, there have been a number of alterations to ensure that St Giles continues to serve its purpose within the Church of England and accommodate its variable congregation..."