The principal royal castle in the North of England. Norman motte and bailey castle surviving as an earthwork and overlying part of an 8th-10th century Saxon cemetery and the town ditch of the royal town of Tanshelf. The motte and bailey was built before 1086, and in the late 11th century a chapel was built, within the bailey, dedicated to St Clement, although it possibly replaced a Saxon chapel or church. This was collegiate between 1090 and 1546. In the 12th century and 13th century the medieval enclosure castle was constructed. In 1618-20 a major programme of repair was undertaken. The castle was dismantled following the siege of Pontefract in 1649. Scheduled.
The Medieval castle, chapel, and motte, are visible as structure and earthworks on air photographs.