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Excavation at Pontefract General Infirmary 26 July 2011 until September

posted 14 Jul 2011, 15:45 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 1 Feb 2016, 15:00 ]
a post-dissolution burial recorded by PontArch in its 1963 dig on the site
Following on from a most successful public meeting, (held 12 July) called to protest against the proposed demolition and destruction of the remains of St Richard's Dominican Friary in Pontefract, Consort Healthcare met with members of the Pontefract Friary Action Group (PFAG) on 14 July.

Consort Healthcare have provided generous financial backing and logistical support (parking, loos, cover, etc) and access to heavy machinery for Pontefract & District Archaeological Society (PontArch) to excavate the medieval and post-medieval cemetery to the north of the friary site. 
Archaeological Services West Yorkshire will supply  tools etc. The friary remains will be covered and protected in perpetuity, as part of the deal.

Excavations will begin on Tuesday, 26 July, andcontinue through August into September.  Members of Yorkshire archaeological societies, and other experienced and interested individuals, are welcome to join PontArch and take part in the dig. 

The excavation will be directed by PontArch Field Director, Simon Tomson, whilst member Dr J McNaught will be in charge of the palaeopathological aspects and post excavation analyses.

Only fully paid-up members of PontArch can take part - this is a requirement of the insurance. Participants will be asked to show their current membership cards. An application form is available from Bob Evison, PontArch's Treasurer by emailing

Contact for further information.

A news report by the Pontefract and Castleford Express on the excavation can be found at

The excavation area is behind the standing buildings.

Picture of archaeologists digging a trench

Pontefract Friary Action Group start a ten-week excavation at a site where it is believed a Dominican Friary once stood after a campaign to stop demolition at Pontefract Hospital ( © 2011 Johnston Publishing Ltd.)