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Blast from the Past VII

Blast7/1.jpeg. The old Railway Hotel, Monkhill. Monkhill was the first station in Pontefract, and it is reasonable to assume that the hotel was built shortly after the station was opened in 1848. With only horse- drawn road traffic to consider, the pub’s location on the kerb-edge was no detriment when it was built, and for almost a century after. The modern replacement, however, is sensibly placed well back from the highway.

Blast7/2.jpeg. New Hall, Nevison. My late parents always called this ‘The Old Hall,’ though research proved the correct appendage as New Hall. Always a romantic ruin, the hall reached its ‘sell-by’ after the Luddite Riots of 1811, when the authorities stripped the lead from the roof to prevent the rebels using it to cast bullets. Once rain began to penetrate, the hall’s fate was sealed and it ended up as ballast under the then-new A1 in the early sixties. Luckily, its foundations have been preserved intact under the recent housing development, thanks to the intervention of then Chairman Bob Evison of PontArc.


Few people realise just how much the urban environment changes over quite short periods of time. The historian and archaeologist, who is concerned with such changes, does realise, and if his/her interests are in the recent periods, takes steps to record the changes.

PontArc has made it its duty to record changes if they are known about in advance. Too often, however, a member notes the demolition of a building during or after the event, so that little can be done. In the cases illustrated today, it was possible to record the subjects before significant damage was done

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