Monday, 3 June 2013

An English affair: Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle was a running joke between B. and me in the days leading up to my visit across the pond. She joked about how it would be the first place she took me, and then laughed when I said, "I can't wait!" with more excitement than she expected. But here's the best part -- I actually enjoyed my visit through the castle ruins.

Pontefract Castle: History in the ruins
Known as one of the most feared forts in England's history, Pontefract Castle is truly a sight to see. Though all that's left of it are the scarce ruins, a walk through the grounds gives you an eerie sense of all that happened there in centuries gone by. Used as a fort, then as a castle, then as the prison of Richard II (It's believed he was murdered within the castle, actually!), it has played a pivotal role in the history books. In fact, Shakespeare was inspired by the story of Richard II's death there.

I couldn't help but appreciate the views from the castle grounds. It's situated high above the town of Pontefract, so depending on where you stand, you get an awesome view of all the hustle and bustle in the town below. I had this moment where I felt I was part of history and part of the present. I was walking through the ruins and staring off into the distance as cars drove by. It felt pretty remarkable.

Visits to the castle grounds are free, except when special events take place there.

A stone pathway around the castle ruins.
Photo by StraightFromTheCurls

Wide view of the castle grounds.
Photo by StraightFromTheCurls
The remaining ruins of Pontefract Castle.
Photo by StraightFromTheCurls

I'm amazed at how so many of these ancient structures are still preserved in the UK. It's so fascinating to see the modern world built around these centuries-old buildings. Though not always romantic in history, these structures give modern culture roots, and I'm grateful that I had the chance to see so many of them firsthand. There's more to come, so please visit often!


My favourite things today include:
- A summer that (so far) isn't as muggy as last year.
- The gift of time.
- Fresh, clean drinking water within reach.
- Alfonso Ribeiro coming out of hiding to do this. (Ignore the obnoxious bits and skip straight to 3:30)
- And this. It never gets old.
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