Pontefract Castle was built around the time of 1070 AD by a knight named Ilbert de Lacy on land granted him by William the Conqueror in reward for support given during the Norman conquests.
The de Lacy family occupied the castle until the beginning of the next century when Robert de Lacy lost the castle after failing to support Henry the first during his power struggle with his brother. In the year 1311 AD, the Castle came under the control of the house of Lancaster.
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster was beheaded outside the castle walls six days after his defeat at the Battle of Boroughbridge.
The ghost of Richard II has strangely enough never been seen at the castle but that's not to say that there aren't any ghosts there. A Black Monk has often been seen walking from the kitchen towards the Queens Tower in the late afternoon. Another monk dressed in grey has also been sighted and by coincidence a ghostly woman also in grey is sometimes seen holding a lantern near the castle gates.
At the visitor centre, there is a mirror in which has been seen the reflection of a young girl with long brown hair and dressed in ragged clothes. Next door to the visitors centre is the ladies toilet in which has been heard the sound sometimes of a girl crying and at other times screaming!
Cavaliers have been seen coming up from the underground magazine and on top of the keep, the spectre of a man dressed in black has been seen reading a parchment.