Liquorice Root 11th September 2011
|THE LIQUORICE ROOT 18 miles
11TH SEPTEMBER 2011
Leader Chris Haley
13 Vermuyden members and three guests Ken, Dave and Frank from the Irregulars met at Heath near Wakefield on a fine but blustery Sunday morning.
The object of this walk was to find the long lost Liquorice mines of Pontefract. Pontefract is known as the Liquorice capital of Britain and since 1284 has played an important part of the town.
A common fact known to all Vermuyden members is that Liquorice is a herbaceous perennial from the genus GLYCYRRHIZA and native to area's of southern Europe and Asia. The last commercial crop to be taken in Pontefract was in 1970.
After leaving Heath and walking over Woodhouse Common the mid morning stop was Featherstone. After sandwiches it was on to Pontefract and a chance to explore the castle.
The destruction of the castle at the end of the Second English Civil war had the full support of the local population. According to the locals the castle was a magnet for trouble and were happy to see it destroyed. However before the demise of the castle it had a long and rich history. Constructed in 1070 on land granted to Libert de Lacy by William the Conqueror as reward during the Norman Conquest.
Richard II of England was rumoured to have been murdered here in 1400
In 1541 it was alleged that King Henry VIII's fifth wife Queen Catherine Howard first committed adultery at the castle, a crime for which she was later executed without trial.
The castle has been a ruin since 1644 when it held as a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil war, it was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces prompting the leader Oliver Cromwell to declare ' it was one of the strongest inland garrisons in the Kingdom'
As you can see nothing much has changed in Pontefract
A liquid lunch was taken at The Broken Bridge in Pontefract then a return to the start via Pontefract Racecourse.
Another great themed walk by Chris, a walk thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Don't leave the next one so long. Thanks for a smashing day out.