Pontefract’s memorial to Magna Carta

GREAT PRIVILEGE: Deputy Lord Lieutenant Michael Sayles Fox.

GREAT PRIVILEGE: Deputy Lord Lieutenant Michael Sayles Fox.

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A £30,000 monument marking the town’s link with the Magna Carta has been unveiled.

The monument sits outside the town hall on Bridge Street and features carvings noting Pontefract’s association with the 800-year-old charter.

The Baron of Pontefract, John De Lacy, was one of twenty-five barons who forced King John into agreeing the document, which was sealed by His Royal Highness in 1215.

The idea for the monument was put forward as the town prepared to celebrate 800 years since he signed the charter.

Chairman of Pontefract Civic Society Paul Cartwright said: “It has been a long two year project, though an incredible day with the ribbon cut on a £30k high quality hand crafted monument to show Pontefract’s link with Magna Carta.

“We hope that local people and visitors will be more informed about the significant position of Pontefract through history, and future projects will also support this”.

The monument was unveiled with a special ceremony including guests Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Michael Sayles Fox, deputy council leader Coun Denise Jeffery, Father Bob Cooper, members of Pontefract Civic Society children from Carleton Park School and the craftsmen who carved the stone.

Mr Fox said: “It was a great privilege to be asked to take part in the recognition of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta via this stone monument in Pontefract, where Baron John De Lacy played a key role in forcing King John to seal the charter, meaning no one was above the law, even the King”.

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