Monument to mark Pontefract’s Magna Carta links

Replica of the Magna Carta going on display at St Giles�" Church, Pontefract.'Norman Blackburn (chairman of Pontefract Magna Carta group) and Sir Bill O'Brien (secretary of Pontefract Magna Carta group)
Replica of the Magna Carta going on display at St Giles�" Church, Pontefract.'Norman Blackburn (chairman of Pontefract Magna Carta group) and Sir Bill O'Brien (secretary of Pontefract Magna Carta group)

A monument marking Pontefract’s links with the Magna Carta could be unveiled in the town this summer.

Pontefract Civic Society has submitted plans for the monument – to be installed near the town hall – which will feature carvings noting the town’s links with the 800-year-old charter, which was signed in 1215 by John de Lacy, then lord of Pontefract Castle.

Paul Cartwright, the society’s vice-chairman, said: “We hope it will attract people to the town and even if they don’t know anything about the Magna Carta or the town’s links with it they’ll be able to find out.

“We’re working towards unveiling it to the public on June 15 during a week of Magna Carta celebrations.”

A replica of the Magna Carta was presented to members of Pontefract Magna Carta Society last week by the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, Bishop for the Wakefield area.

The document, one of only 25 produced, is on show at St Giles’ Church and will then be taken around schools in the town.

Sir Bill O’Brien, group secretary, said: “This is a replica of the original document from 1215 and is even printed on sheepskin as the original.

“It is quite a rare artefact for the town to have and we would be daft not to make the most of it and use it as part our bigger plan to make Pontefract a destination town.

“The Magna Carta celebrations can play a key part in us achieving that goal. Pontefract is the only town in Yorkshire with links to the Magna Carta and we need to make sure we take full advantage of that.”