Castleford shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|– London||160 mi (260 km) SSE|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Wakefield|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford|
Castleford has a population of 39,192. It is historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. To the north of the town the River Calder joins the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation canal.
The town is the site of a Roman settlement. Within the historical Castleford Borough lies the suburbs of Airedale, Cutsyke, Ferry Fryston, Fryston, Glasshoughton, Half Acres, Hightown, Lock Lane, Wheldale and Whitwood.
Castleford’s history dates back to Roman times, as it is said to have been built upon a Roman army settlement. Roman funeral urns have been found in modern day Castleford, giving further evidence to this theory. A. Roman milestone was unearthed in Beancroft Road, now believed to be in Leeds City Museum.
Queen’s Park in Castleford provides evidence of round houses used by the Anglo Saxons. This was a strategic area due to the views of the entire settlement. Castleford history includes Oliver Cromwell’s encampment in the town.
In the 19th century, Castleford became a boomtown with the population growing from 1,000 to 14,000 as collieries opened around the town. However, these collieries closed in the 20th century. The Ferrybridge Power Station and the Kellingley Colliery in nearby town Knottingley employ Castleford residents, as do the warehouses and distribution centres in Glasshoughton.
Burberry, the retailer and designer label, is situated in the town, as was a largeNestlé factory which produced Toffee Crisp and After Eights for 40 years before closing in 2012 and demolition starting in 2014 to make way for housing. Castleford has previously been home to Dunsford and Wesley Textiles, which at peak business times had three factories in Castleford which have all since ceased production.
According to the 2011 Census Castleford has a population of 39,192.
Castleford was established as an urban district, in the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1894 under the Local Government Act 1894, with an urban district council. Whitwood and Glasshoughton were added to the district in the 1930s. The urban district was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1955.
Following the Local Government Act 1972, the municipal borough was abolished on 1 April 1974, it then became an unparished area of the City of Wakefield, a metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire. Castleford is now controlled by Wakefield Council. Three electoral wards cover the town: Airedale and Ferry Fryston; Altofts and Whitwood; and Castleford Central and Glasshoughton.
In recent years Castleford has seen economic growth through its retail and distribution centres. The town contains a Junction 32 multi-store centre and the Xscape Leisure Complex, both in the Glasshoughton suburb at the south of the town. Xscape is Europe’s largest indoor real snow slope, and contains Frankie & Benny's and Nando's restaurants. Castleford has an open and an indoor market, a shopping centre on Carlton Street, a retail park, and Asda, Morrisons, and Co-operative supermarkets.
Castleford has plans for further retail and residential developments. In December 2013 the Forum, a library and art museum, opened in a new building. The towns library had been in temporary accommodation for two years while the old site was redeveloped. The existing frontage was kept, while the building further back was demolished. A new three-floor building was then constructed.
The town centre has public houses, bars, and working men's clubs, although the number of these has declined in recent years with leisure becoming focused on the Xscape complex. In 2000 three nightclubs were situated in the town centre. Today this has reduced to one, with a further nightclub operating at Xscape.
The town's secondary schools for children aged 11–16 are Castleford Academy and Airedale Academy. The town has a small further and higher education college on the Castleford Campus of Wakefield College.
Castleford is a rugby league town. The local team, Castleford Tigers was formed in 1926, Castleford was one of the twelve founder members of Super League when the new league format was introduced in 1996. The 'Tigers' nickname and logo were introduced in 1992 and the clubs honours include four Challenge Cups.
Castleford Tigers rival local teams Wakefield Wildcats, Featherstone Rovers and Leeds Rhinos. The club have been based at Wheldon Road since 1927. Castleford also has two other lower league rugby league teams, Castleford Lock Lane and Castleford Panthers.
Rugby league in the town was originally represented by Castleford, unrelated to Castleford RUFC, who did not participate in The schism in English rugby and still exist, nor were they predecessors of the current Castleford Tigers who were founded in 1926. The original Castleford rugby league club played in the Northern Union (Rugby Football League) from 1896–97 to 1905–06, and it had one player named Isaac Cole who won a cap for England in 1906 against Other Nationalities.
From June 1979 to July 1980, Castleford had its own Speedway racing team, The Kings, based at the Greyhound Stadium in Whitwood. The circuit was 202 yards and the team never entered the league – only challenge matches were staged.
Glasshoughton Welfare play in the Northern Counties East League, Fryston Colliery Welfare were members of this league until they left in 1991 due to ground grading problems. In the 1920s Castleford Town played in the Midland League alongside clubs such as Doncaster Rovers, Chesterfield, Scunthorpe United, Halifax Town, Leeds United (for 1919-20 season only), Lincoln City and Mansfield Town. This league also contained the reserve sides of Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Nottingham Forest, Grimsby Town and Hull City. In 1920 Castleford reached the 2nd round of the FA Cup, losing 2-3 at Bradford Park Avenue. Castleford played at Wheldon Road – when they shut down the ground was taken over by the rugby league team.
The sculptor Henry Moore was born in Castleford, the son of a miner. He attended Half-Acres Junior and Infants School before later attending Castleford High School. Some of his work can be seen at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton. A Moore sculpture is on display in the new library having previously been on display for several years outside the Civic Centre.
Writer and creator of Bill & Ben the Flower Pot Men, Hilda Wright, was born and lived in Castleford.
Academic Mark Bailey, current High Master of St Paul's School, is from Castleford.
Pools winner Viv Nicholson, remembered for her "spend, spend, spend" assertion was born and still lives in the Castleford area. Her life story was published in book form, before being adapted into the musical Spend Spend Spend which had a run in London's West End. Nicholson also appeared on the cover of "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" by The Smiths.
Poet and actor Richard
Stoker is from the Castleford area. Stoker was Professor of Composition
at the Royal
Academy of Music, and also for the editor of Composer magazine
for 11 years. He has also published several books of poems and short stories,
and a children's novel.
- ^ Brown. Maggie (2008). The Guardian. Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan: a heroic failure?.
- ^ http://www.friendsofcastlefordlibrary.org.uk/
- ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2.
- ^ "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Brown. Maggie (2008). The Guardian. Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan: a heroic failure?.