West Yorkshire

Castleford is a town in the Wakefield metropolitan district of West Yorkshire.

The town is one of the so-called 'Five Towns' making up the eastern part of the Wakefield metropolitan district, the others being Pontefract, Knottingley, Featherstone and Normanton.

Castleford had its origins around a Roman settlement near the River Aire.

The town expanded rapidly in the 19th century as collieries opened around the town, but by the end of the 20th century the industry had closed.

Already suffering from the end of coal mining, Castleford has suffered further blows from the relocating of other industries from the town. These include the closure of its Nestlé confectionery factory in 2012. One company which has stayed in the town, after having recently considered a move to Leeds, is fashion retailer Burberry, a company which has been established for more than 100 years and famous for its heritage trench coats which are made in Castleford.

Castleford has indoor and outdoor markets in its town centre, but in Glasshoughton village to the south of the town there is also a large outdoor outlet shopping centre near to Junction 32 of the M62 motorway and an indoor ski-slope and leisure complex with restaurants and multiplex cinema.

There are railway stations at both Castleford and Glasshoughton. While the present Castleford railway station consists of only a shelter, it is nevertherless a busy point where regular trains operating in both directions between Sheffield and Leeds, Knottingley and Leeds and Castleford and Huddersfield all reverse at one of the platforms of a line which continues towards York and Selby, but has no passenger services in that direction. The service to Huddersfield is a recent introduction and by changing there allows journeys to Manchester and its airport more quickly than the previous need to change at Leeds.

One of the oldest structures remaining in the town is its stone three-arch bridge across the River Aire, built in 1808 to replace one which had been used for many centuries. A new curved pedestrian bridge was opened nearby in 2008, close to the town's old flour mill, as part of a riverside regeneration project.

Castleford is the home of Rugby League team Castleford Tigers. The Superleague team won the League Leaders' Shield in 2017 for the first time in their 91-year history.

 Town features

The town is on the River Calder and River Aire.
Castleford is on the Aire and Calder Navigation.
The town has a shopping centre among its range of shops. Castleford offers bakery goods, butchers, clothes, flowers, furnishings, gifts, jewellery, indoor and outdoor markets#(Mon Thu Fri Sat).
The town has a Post Office.
Castleford has bank and building society branches.
The town has pharmacies.
The town has pubs and social clubs.
Castleford has a selection of places to eat.
A wide range of takeaway food outlets can be found in Castleford.
The town has a library.
Castleford has a museum.
There is a multi-screen cinema in the area.
Castleford has a theatre.
The town has a leisure centre with swimming pool.
Castleford has a community centre.
There are public toilets in the town - including at bus station (20p).
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Islamic, other.
The town has a historic bridge, mill and buried Roman remains.


Castleford station

Managed by: Northern
Operator/s: Northern -

Northern - Castleford   Station and departure information at Northern website.

Bus travel

The town has a bus station.

Road travel

Castleford can be reached via the (M62) A639 A655 A656 A6032 A6539

Places to Visit

Sandal Castle

Manygates Lane, Sandal Magna, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire
About two miles south of the city centre, the ruins of the medieval motte and bailey castle are freely open to the public and overlook the River Calder and the city. Some walkways at the castle, including steps to the keep, have recently been undergoing renovation and repairs following a £700,000 investment by Wakefield Council. The castle stood just above the site of the War of the Roses Battle of Wakefield in December 1460. Its damage, however, was ordered by Parliamentarians after the surrender of a Royalist garrison there in October 1645 during the English Civil Wars.
More information at the  Wakefield Council - Sandal Castle web pages.
Find on map:  Sandal Castle

The Hepworth, Wakefield

Gallery Walk, Wakefield
A modern building next to the River Calder in Wakefield provides purpose-built gallery space for a collection donated by the family of Wakefield-born artist and sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, who died in 1975, together with visiting contemporary art exhibitions.  Website

National Coal Mining Museum for England

Wakefield Road, Overton
The National Coal Mining Museum for England is mid-way between Wakefield and Huddersfield, about 6 miles from each, on the main A642 road at Overton. It is also around 10 miles from Barnsley and just under 5 miles from Dewsbury. The former Caphouse Colliery has exhibits showing the history of mining in the Yorkshire coalfield and beyond. The museum also offers the chance to don a miner's helmet to take an underground tour down the mine. The tour takes about an hour and shows the changes in mining and conditions in the pit through its history. There's also chance to meet pit ponies, to take a trip on a colliery railway, to walk its nature trail or relax with food or a drink in its cafe.
More details at the  National Coal Mining Museum website.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Bretton
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is at West Bretton about 6 miles south-west of the city centre. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an an international centre for contemporary art set in beautiful parkland surroundings. Click Sculpture Park for more information on this location featured in our Yorkshire Places to visit.

Nostell Priory

Doncaster Road, Nostell
The 1733 house built on the site of a medieval priory and now looked after by The National Trust has been described as an architectural masterpiece. It includes interiors added by Robert Adam and furniture by Yorkshire-born furniture designer Thomas Chippendale. The house, six miles south-east of the city centre, is set in more than 120 hectares of parkland, including lakeside walks. More information can be found at The National Trust.  Website

Pontefract Castle

Castle Garth, Pontefract
Once the most impressive castle in Yorkshire, Pontefract Castle has been a ruin for around 380 years. It is believed to be the place where King Richard II died in 1400, the king having been imprisoned there in 1399. The castle was referred to (as Pomfret) in William Shakespeare's play Richard III as the place where Richard II was 'hack'd to death', although many historians put starvation as the likely cause. Mystery still surrounds the death as there were also stories of Richard's escape to Stirling in Scotland. The castle was visited in August 1541 by King Henry VIII with his queen of the past year, Catherine Howard, and also Thomas Culpeper. Culpeper was at the end of that year beheaded in London for his alleged adultery with the queen, who was herself executed a few weeks later. Pontefract Castle was a royalist stronghold in the English Civil War and was beseiged several times by Parliamentarian forces before its remains were destroyed in 1649. Low and excavated walls and the cellars of the castle are all that remain today. The castle remains have in recent times been clad in huge amounts of scaffolding during a £3.5m lottery-funded refurbishment project. After problems involving the main contractor of the scheme, a new visitor centre is expected to finally open in 2017.  Website

Fairburn Ings

Near Fairburn
Situated 2 miles north-east of Castleford (3.5 miles by road), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve at Fairburn Ings offers hides, trails and a visitor centre. It has a variety of birdlife habitats, including lakes, woodland and wet grassland with resident and migrating birds depending on the season. The visitor centre is open each day except Christmas Day. The reserve holds events and discovery days through the year and there are also opportunities for pond-dipping.

Emergency services

West Yorkshire Police  West Yorkshire Police website.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Metropolitan district council

Wakefield Council
Wakefield Council covers an area extending many miles beyond the city of Wakefield itself. The area includes many separate small towns and villages, among them Castleford, Featherstone, Hemsworth, Horbury, Knottingley, Normanton , Ossett, Pontefract, South Elmsall and Stanley.

The council is made up of 63 councillors elected 3 per ward across 21 wards. Elections held in 3 in every 4 years elect one councillor per ward for 4-year terms.

Link to council website  Wakefield Council .

The political composition after the May 2018 election was:

52 11

The political composition after the May 2019 election is:

49 11 2 1
63 members

County strategic authority

West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield - which were at one time provided by a West Yorkshire metropolitan county council, with the addition of the non-contiguous City of York council and unelected Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
 West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
 Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Fire Authority

West Yorkshire Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield.
 West Yorkshire Fire Authority web pages.

Ceremonial county

West Yorkshire


-1974 Within the West Riding of Yorkshire

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