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Castleford Collage.png
Castleford footbridge, Castleford Civic Centre, Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre and Xscape
West Yorkshire UK location map.svg
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Location within West Yorkshire
Population40,210 (Wards. Castleford Central and Glasshoughton, Whitwood and Ferry Fryston)
OS grid reference SE424244
  London 160 mi (260 km)  SSE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district WF10
Dialling code 01977
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°42′58″N1°21′22″W / 53.716°N 1.356°W / 53.716; -1.356 Coordinates: 53°42′58″N1°21′22″W / 53.716°N 1.356°W / 53.716; -1.356

Castleford is a town in the City of Wakefield District, West Yorkshire, England. It had a population of 40,210 at the 2011 Census. [1] [2] [3] Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, to the north of the town centre the River Calder joins the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation. It is located north east of Wakefield, north of Pontefract and south east of Leeds. Castleford is the largest town in the Wakefield District after Wakefield itself.


The town is the site of a Roman settlement. Within the historical Castleford Borough are the suburbs of Airedale, Cutsyke, Ferry Fryston, Fryston Village, Glasshoughton, Half Acres, Hightown, Lock Lane, Townville, Wheldale and Whitwood.

Castleford is home to the rugby league Super League team Castleford Tigers.


Wheldale Colliery was one of the town's collieries until its closure in 1985. Wheldale Colliery, Castleford, "the sunshine pit" - - 760530.jpg
Wheldale Colliery was one of the town's collieries until its closure in 1985.

Castleford's history dates back to Roman times, archaeological evidence points to modern day Castleford being built upon a Roman army settlement which was called Lagentium (thought to mean 'The Place of the Swordsmen'). [4] Roman funeral urns have been found in modern-day Castleford, giving further evidence to this theory. [5] A Roman milestone was unearthed in Beancroft Road, now believed to be in Leeds City Museum. [6]

Queen's Park in Castleford provides evidence of Roundhouses used by the Anglo Saxons. This was a strategic area due to the views of the entire settlement. The history of the area includes Oliver Cromwell’s encampment in nearby Knottingley and Ferrybridge (originally thought to be in Castleford itself) whilst his forces laid siege to Pontefract Castle. [7]

All Saints' Church Hightown Hightown, Castleford, All Saints Church - - 226763.jpg
All Saints' Church Hightown
All Saints' Church, Castleford, West Yorkshire All Saints, Castleford (27394684630).jpg
All Saints' Church, Castleford, West Yorkshire

In the 19th century, Castleford became a boomtown with the population growing from 1,000 to 14,000 as collieries opened around the town; however, these collieries closed in the 20th century. Ferrybridge Power Station and Kellingley Colliery have also closed (in 2015 and 2016 respectively) and used to employ Castleford residents. [8] [9] The newer warehouses and distribution centres in Glasshoughton have brought in many new jobs to the area. [10]

In 2008 Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and Channel 4 led a community regeneration scheme to redevelop Castleford. [11]

In February 2017 Castleford Swimming Pool closed. A new modern leisure facility including a swimming pool is proposed for nearby Pontefract Park.


Carlton Street is Castleford's main shopping street. Carlton Street, Castleford.jpg
Carlton Street is Castleford's main shopping street.

Burberry, the retailer and designer label, has a factory in the town, plans were proposed to close this once a new facility was built in Leeds. [12] However these plans were put on hold in 2016 and the factory is due to remain in the town for the foreseeable future. [13] A large Nestlé factory, which produced Toffee Crisp and After Eights for 40 years, [14] closed in 2012 and demolition starting in 2014 to make way for housing. [15] Castleford has previously been home to Dunsford and Wesley Textiles, which at peak business times had three factories in Castleford which have all since ceased production.

Castleford had potteries from the early 18th century until 1961, notably the Castleford Pottery (1790-1820) of David Dunderdale, which gave its name to "Castleford-type" stonewares. [16]


Castleford Civic Centre Reclining figure, Castleford Civic Centre - - 643586.jpg
Castleford Civic Centre

Castleford was established as an urban district, in the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1894 under the Local Government Act 1894, with an urban district council. Whitwood and Glasshoughton were added to the district in the 1930s. The urban district was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1955.

Following the Local Government Act 1972, the municipal borough was abolished on 1 April 1974, it then became an unparished area of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire. Castleford is now controlled by Wakefield Council. Three electoral wards cover the town: Airedale and Ferry Fryston; Altofts and Whitwood; and Castleford Central and Glasshoughton.

Amenities and entertainment

Xscape in Glasshoughton, Castleford X-scape - Junction 32, Glass Houghton - - 906292.jpg
Xscape in Glasshoughton, Castleford
Carlton Lanes shopping centre Carlton Lanes shopping centre, Castleford (7th July 2015) 002.JPG
Carlton Lanes shopping centre

The town contains a Junction 32 multi-store shopping village and the Xscape Leisure Complex, both in the Glasshoughton suburb at the south of the town. In Xscape is a large Snozone, which used to have Britain's largest indoor real snow slope (but this was edged out by Chillfactore in Manchester) [17] and contains Frankie & Benny's and Nando's restaurants. It is also home to a 14 screen Cineworld which recently underwent a refit in 2018 and is now home to a 4DX screen and a Screen X. [18] Castleford has an open and an indoor market, a shopping centre on Carlton Street, a retail park, and Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Co-operative supermarkets.

Entry to Castleford Forum Museum Castleford Forum Museum April 2017.jpg
Entry to Castleford Forum Museum

In December 2013 the Forum, a library and heritage museum, opened in a new building. The town's library had been in temporary accommodation for two years while the old site was redeveloped. The existing frontage was kept, while the building further back was demolished. A new three-floor building was then constructed. [19]

The town centre has public houses, bars, and social clubs, although the number of these has declined in recent years [ when? ] with leisure becoming focused on the Xscape complex. In 2000 three nightclubs were situated in the town centre. Today none remain. [ citation needed ]


Ridings FM is Castleford's local radio station, Launched in 1999, The station can be heard in the town on 106.8 FM. Ridings FM broadcasts to the wider Wakefield District and has a close relationship with the community and is actively involved in local charities fundraising efforts. The local newspaper is a weekly called Pontefract and Castleford Express.


Castleford is only 0.93 miles (1.5 km) away from the M62 at Junction 32 via the A656 road. It has other A roads that criss-cross the town and provide access to Junction 31 on the same motorway. [20]

The River Aire and the River Calder have a confluence just north west of the town and also feed the Aire and Calder Navigation. Whilst it is an industrial waterway, it also hosts tourism with moorings on the Castleford Cut of the Navigation. [21]

The town has a railway station on the Hallam and Pontefract lines. All trains arrive from the west and leave in that same direction. [22] Trains used to go eastwards to York via Burton Salmon, but passenger workings ceased in 1970 with the section retained for freight workings only. [23] Castleford also had a second service to Leeds that left eastwards and swung north onto the former Castleford–Garforth line, which would see services calling at Ledston and Kippax, before arriving in Garforth and continuing to Leeds. [24] In 2016, a new £6 million bus station was opened adjacent to the railway station to allow an integrated travel site for the 12,000 people using the bus station per day. [25]

The Glasshoughton area of the town is served by its own railway station.

In January 2021, Castleford railway station was completely revamped, including a modern waiting facility, sheltered cycle parking and changes to the car park layout. [26]


Wakefield College, Castleford Campus Wakefield College Castleford April 2017.jpg
Wakefield College, Castleford Campus

The town's primary schools for infants and children are Wheldon Infant School, Castleford Park Junior, Smawthorne Henry Moore, Townville Infant School, Airedale Juniors, Oyster Park Primary, Fairburn View Primary, Three Lane Ends Academy, Ackton Pastures and Half Acres. The town's secondary schools for children aged 11–16 are Castleford Academy and Airedale Academy. The town has a small further and higher education college on the Castleford Campus of Wakefield College in Glasshoughton. [27]


Rugby League

Wheldon Road The Jungle Castleford Tigers Rugby league Ground (geograph 5648191).jpg
Wheldon Road

Castleford is a rugby league town. The local team, Castleford Tigers was formed in 1926, Castleford was one of the twelve founder members of Super League when the new league format was introduced in 1996. The 'Tigers' nickname and logo were introduced in 1992 and the clubs honours include four Challenge Cup and one Super League leaders shield.

The club have been based at Wheldon Road since 1927. Castleford also has two other lower league rugby league teams, Castleford Lock Lane and Castleford Panthers.

Rugby league in the town was originally represented by Castleford, unrelated to Castleford RUFC, who did not participate in The schism in English rugby and still exist, nor were they predecessors of the current Castleford Tigers who were founded in 1926. The original Castleford rugby league club played in the Northern Union (Rugby Football League) from 1896–97 to 1905–06, [28] and it had one player named Isaac Cole who won a cap for England in 1906 against Other Nationalities. [29]

Motorcycle sport

From June 1979 to July 1980, Castleford had its own Speedway racing team, The Kings, based at the Castleford Whitwood Stadium. The circuit was 202 yards and the team never entered the league – only challenge matches were staged.

In the 1960s, motorcycle scrambling used to take place on the north side of the hill at Queens Park. This was often featured on the BBC's Grandstand sports programme on Saturday afternoons and was commentated upon by Murray Walker.


Glasshoughton Welfare play in the Northern Counties East League, Fryston Colliery Welfare were members of this league until they left in 1991 due to ground grading problems. In the 1920s Castleford Town played in the Midland League alongside clubs such as Doncaster Rovers, Chesterfield, Scunthorpe United, Halifax Town, Leeds United (for 1919–20 season only), Lincoln City and Mansfield Town. This league also contained the reserve sides of Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Nottingham Forest, Grimsby Town and Hull City. In 1920 Castleford reached the 2nd round of the FA Cup, losing 2–3 at Bradford Park Avenue. Castleford played at Wheldon Road – when they shut down the ground was taken over by the rugby league team.

Greyhound racing

Castleford hosted two greyhound tracks both of which are no longer in existence. The first was in Whitwood and held racing from 1939 until 2001. [30] The second track was the slightly larger 1,500 capacity Castleford Sports Stadium located east of Lock Lane sitting on the north bank of the River Aire. [31]


Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

River Aire A river in Yorkshire, England

The River Aire is a major river in Yorkshire, England, 148 kilometres (92 mi) in length. The Handbook for Leeds and Airedale (1890) notes that the distance from Malham to Howden is 58 miles (93 km) direct, but the river's meanderings extend that to 90 miles (140 km). Between Malham Tarn and Airmyn, the river drops 400 metres (1,300 ft). Part of the river below Leeds is canalised, and is known as the Aire and Calder Navigation.

Pontefract Market town in West Yorkshire, England

Pontefract is a historic market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, east of Wakefield and south of Castleford. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is one of the towns in the City of Wakefield District and had a population of 30,881 at the 2011 Census. Pontefract's motto is Post mortem patris pro filio, Latin for "After the death of the father, support the son", a reference to the town's Royalist sympathies in the English Civil War.


Airedale is a geographic area in Yorkshire, England, corresponding to the river valley or dale of the River Aire.

Knottingley Town in the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England

Knottingley is a town within the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England on the River Aire and the old A1 road before it was bypassed as the A1(M). Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it has a population of 13,503, increasing to 13,710 for the City of Wakefield ward at the 2011 Census. It makes up the majority of the Knottingley ward represented on Wakefield Council.

City of Wakefield City and metropolitan borough in England

The City of Wakefield is a local government district in West Yorkshire, England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. Wakefield is the district's administrative centre. The population of the City of Wakefield at the 2011 Census was 325,837. The district includes the Five Towns, Normanton, Pontefract, Featherstone, Castleford and Knottingley. Other towns include Ossett, Horbury, Hemsworth, South Kirkby and Moorthorpe and South Elmsall. The City and borough are governed by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.

Streethouse Village in West Yorkshire, England

Streethouse is a semi rural village in West Yorkshire, England that is situated to the east of Wakefield, the west of Featherstone and the south-west of is also situated on a Roman road.

The Pontefract line is one of the rail services in the West Yorkshire Metro area of northern England. The service is operated by Northern, and links Wakefield and Leeds with Goole via Pontefract. The Metro timetable for the line also includes services operated as the Dearne Valley line between York and Sheffield via Pontefract.

Pontefract and Castleford (UK Parliament constituency)

Pontefract and Castleford was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until the 2010 general election. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

Castleford railway station Railway station in West Yorkshire, England

Castleford railway station is a railway station serving the town of Castleford in West Yorkshire. It lies on the Hallam and the Pontefract Lines 11 miles (18 km) south east of Leeds.

Glasshoughton railway station Railway station in West Yorkshire, England

Glasshoughton railway station serves Glasshoughton, Castleford in West Yorkshire, England. It lies on the Pontefract Line, operated by Northern, 12 miles (19 km) south-east of Leeds.

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by Yvette Cooper of the Labour Party since its 2010 creation. Cooper has served under the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown alongside her husband Ed Balls, and served as Shadow Home Secretary under the leadership of Ed Miliband. She is now the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Woodlesford Village in West Yorkshire, England

Woodlesford is a suburban village in the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, 6 miles (10 km) south-east of Leeds city centre. Formerly part of the Rothwell Urban District, it is now within the Rothwell ward of Leeds City Council. The village sits on the banks of the Aire and Calder Navigation and river system.

Glasshoughton Suburb of Castleford, West Yorkshire, England

Glasshoughton is a neighbourhood of Castleford in West Yorkshire, England, that borders on Pontefract. The appropriate Wakefield ward is called Castleford Central and Glasshoughton. It is home to the Xscape indoor ski slope and leisure centre, the Junction 32 Outlet Shopping Village, a DIY superstore, a hotel, several pubs and a number of fast food restaurants, which were built on the site of the former Glasshoughton Colliery and coke coking plant. This area also contains the Glasshoughton Wheel of Light, a former pit winding wheel now made into a sculpture as a memorial to the miners of Glasshoughton.

Ferry Fryston Suburb of Castleford, West Yorkshire, England

Ferry Fryston is a suburb of the town of Castleford in West Yorkshire, England. It is situated in the metropolitan borough of the City of Wakefield. The appropriate ward is called Airedale and Ferry Fryston.

The Yorkshire Electric Tramways operated two separate tramway services. One in Wakefield between 1904 and 1932, and the other between Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford between 1906 and 1932

Wheldale Colliery Former coal mine in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England

Wheldale Colliery was a coal mine located in Castleford, Yorkshire, England which produced coal for 117 years. It was accessed from Wheldon Road.

Joseph "Joe" T. Anderson, also known by the nickname of 'Ginger', was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He played at representative level for Yorkshire, and at club level for Lock Lane ARLFC, Castleford, Leeds and Featherstone Rovers, as a prop, i.e. number 8 or 10, during the era of contested scrums.

John Frederick "Fred" Ward was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s, and coached in the 1960s. He played at representative level for Yorkshire, and at club level for Castleford, Leeds, York, Keighley and Hunslet, and coached at club level for Hunslet.

Castleford–Garforth line

The Castleford–Garforth line was a single-track railway line in West Yorkshire, England, connecting Castleford with Garforth east of Leeds. the route was developed to allow coal to be transported from the area, though a passenger service was operated between 1878 and 1951. Initially promoted by Leeds, Castleford and Pontefract Junction Railway, it was taken over by the North Eastern Railway before the line was completed.


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