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UK Pontefract Hermitage (Permission Visit) - Feb 16

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Recently myself and @-Raz- were given the chance to have a look down a 13th century Hermit hole which is now closed to the public. Thanks to the Pontefract Hermitage team for your help and kind permission :)






Pontefract Hermitage is a medieval hermitage situated below the old Southgate entrance to the now derelict Victorian era General Infirmary in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. It is a grade I listed structure.


The retreat consists of two chambers hand carved out of sandstone, side by side but on different levels. From the lower chamber a 63 step spiral staircase descends to a well. The later upper chamber, known as the Oratory, measures 14 feet (4.25 metres) by 8 feet (2.45 metres) with a domed ceiling up to 8 feet high. The Oratory contains an altar, a fireplace, a bench and low stool and a bed shelf. The entrance to the hermitage was protected by bolted doors.




Pontefract had hermits from the early 13th century, the earliest of whom, Peter of Pomfret, was executed by King John in 1213 for predicting his downfall. This was dramatised in the Shakespeare's play King John. The hermit tradition continued for about three centuries. The hermitage described here dates from 1386 after Robert de Laythorpe granted the then hermit, Brother Adam, the hermitage and accompanying land for life. It was discovered in October 1854 by workmen laying a new sewer.


Recently construction work by Balfour Beatty have built a new multi million pound hospital on the site of the old one, which has disrupted the flow of a water course causing the hermitage to flood. Something they are currently denying they had anything to do with. Pumps are running 24hrs a day, paid for by the NHS to keep the water levels at a sustainable level to reduce the damage to the sandstone.


On with some photos;


















The above hand carved skeleton is believed to be the only carving showing the Death holding a spear (showing the end of nthe plague) at least in Europe, if not the world.




Flooding caused by Balfour Beatty










As always, thanks for looking :thumb

Edited by Hydro3xploric

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3 hours ago, Lavino said:

Now that's something diffrent like that Matt..


Not something you see everyday :)


Ta mate

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I was sure i already commented on this last night saying about looking up a hermits hole or something :D


Cool place indeed mate :thumb 

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