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Pontefract Friary Action Group

posted 6 Jun 2011, 09:36 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 1 Feb 2016, 15:12 ]
The Pontefract & District Archaeological Society (PontArch), in conjunction with the Pontefract Civic Society have formed the PONTEFRACT FRIARY ACTION GROUP, to either preserve or record before destruction the remains of St Richard's Priory, a Dominican house whose remains lie beneath Pontefract General Infirmary.

A new hospital has been built by Balfour Beatty for the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. PontArch has discovered recently that the 'old' hospital, built in 1963 and 1989-91 is to be demolished and its remains levelled to one metre below current ground level, for a car park. As the buildings of the friary still remain there, this would destroy them needlessly, as it would be easier and more cost-effective to respect the existing terracing under which the archaeology survives.

A public meeting is being arranged in July, a petition prepared, and local personalities recruited to help prevent unnecessary damage to the archaeological deposits.

The action Group's objectives for St. Richard’s medieval Dominican Friary in Pontefract are attached.

Image from the 1963 dig (scaled in feet) shows the depth of walling of the presumed priory church (extreme right of image). Much of this survived the hospital construction, but would not survive the proposed levelling down. (c) 1963 Eric Houlder

Paul Brayford,
9 Jun 2011, 15:55