History of Featherstone
The Town of Featherstone is situated to the south-west of Pontefract in the City of Wakefield district of West Yorkshire. The 2011 census recorded its population at 15,244. Like many communities in the area, Featherstone grew up around coal mining. It was the miners’ strike in 1893 during which the town came to national attention when soldiers fired on striking miners, killing two. The event became known as the Featherstone massacre and a distinctive sculpture making its centenary stands in Station Lane. A large memorial wall depicting Featherstone’s heritage can be seen at the town’s main crossroads at the bottom of Station Lane.
Ackton Hall Colliery was the first pit to close following the end of the 1984 miners’ strike.
Despite most of its population growth taking place around the Industrial Revolution, Featherstone’s history can be traced back much further than this. It is thought that a local public house, the Travellers’ Rest, has its origins in the 17th Century whilst the Jubilee Hotel, built in 1897, is a listed building which once provided a resting place for wealthy Victorians and their horses.
Featherstone is undergoing continual change and, as part of this, a state-of-the-art £2.5million Chesney’s has been built in Station Lane. Chesneys Centre facilities include refreshments, free parking, disabled access and induction loops. Other uses of the centre include meeting spaces to let and a craft group on a Thursday afternoon.
The Pit Houses, were a council estate which formerly belonged to the National Coal Board, these houses have now been demolished to make room for further developments. Strata Homes purchased the land and now a new housing estate of 2,3 and 4 bedroom homes is being built.
Purston Park opened in the 1950’s and provides a large open green space, offering a lake and a children’s play area. There was previously a bowling green but this became a rose garden in 2004.
Anglo Saxon traces were found at Ackton. The Saxon Church at North Featherstone is mentioned in the Domesday Book.