Castleford is nestled comfortably on the banks of the River Aire, approximately 10 miles from Wakefield and 12 miles from Leeds. It is one of those towns that people think is a lot more boring than they could imagine and, on the whole, they would be correct. However, beneath the surface of this ex-coal-mining town lies the foundations for an exciting town of the future.
Despite having only one night-club*, and far too many charity shops, Castleford is a thriving town. While less well known than its neighbouring town, Pontefract, it is quite a bit larger. Castleford has a single level shopping centre, the Carlton Lanes, and has the dubious honour of playing host to two chemical factories, Hickson and Welch being the largest and best known.
Castleford has a rugby league team called the Castleford Tigers, and they have known a modest amount of success. The most noted townsman was Henry Moore, a free form sculptor.
As it is soon to be home to a Free Port retail park, Castleford is beginning to grow. The Tigers are soon to start construction on their new ground and more and more new shops are opening all the time.
It is a generally friendly town where people are apt to speak to strangers.
Castleford is a fine place to visit and is becoming a good place to live, with many new jobs coming up in the area and a number of new housing projects appearing around the town.
Pubs to Remember
- The Lion (especially for biker's and heavy metal fans)
- The Lamplighter
- The Glassblower
All the pubs in Castleford are within walking distance of each other. They are mostly clean and usually friendly. The atmosphere ranges from excellent to quiet depending on whether the Tigers have won or lost.
A Son of Castleford
One famous person to come from Castleford was the sculptor Henry Moore. Through a scholarship, he attended Castleford secondary school, where he encountered two people he would later consider to have been his mentors: the headmaster, T R Dawes; and Alice Gostick, the art teacher. He attributed his distinctive style of sculpture to his memories of the region - and specifically the slag heaps of the coal mines, which he remembered from childhood.