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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1135427



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Wakefield

District Type: Metropolitan Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 15-Nov-1988

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 342700

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


PONTEFRACT SOUTHGATE SE 4521 NE (south side) 8/61 The Hermitage


Hermitage. 1386. By Adam de Laythorpe and his son Robert. Hewn out of carbon- iferous sandstone. Situated below ground under what is now Pontefract General Infirmary. There are two chambers, side by side but on different levels, out of the lower one leads a short passage to a spiral staircase descending vertically to a well. The chamber to the west, known as the Oratory is thought to be the later of the two, and contains a fireplace with a rock-hewn flue, with a low stool next to it, a bench, and a bed shelf. In the centre is a large C19 brick pier. Access is through a pointed-arched doorway, probably reused in C19 from the nearby site of the Priory of St Richard, founded in 1256. The eastern chamber is entered by an original basket-arched doorway, rebated for a door and bolt-holes. From it a barrel-vaulted passage leads to the staircase of 72 steps, with clearly- marked pick/hammer chisel marks. There are four candle niches. Near the bottom is a bas relief figure of Death, a skeleton with prominent rib-cage and fore- shortened legs, carrying a spear. (There is a third chamber, no longer visible, said to have the letters "DITIS" carved on the lintel). At the bottom is'a basin filled with water, this being the water-table. Outside the doorway are late C15 window heads, probably from the Priory Church of St Richard. In front of the Hermitage are 3 C19 Tudor-arched brick doorways. The security devices protecting the well are thought to have been intended to prevent the holy water being taken for withcraft. Pontefract is known to have had a hermit in the early C13, and the tradition seems to have continued for about three centuries.

Listing NGR: SE4566721793

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SE 45667 21793


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End of official listing