Stone Structures

Around the village, you will notice many historic stone structures. Let us know if you have any more photos or information about any of them...

Sources of information:

Stephen Carlile (Ackworth Heritage Group,_West_Yorkshire


Used on every entry to the village, the millstones were originally made at Ackworth Quarries and shipped around the world.

This piece of machinery was used for cutting the millstones at Parkers Quarry and is now at Beamish Museum.

(Information provided by Stephen Carlile)


Guide posts

Do you know where each of these are?

Early 19th Century. The guide post at the junction of Bell Lane with Barnsley Road is in sandstone and about 3 metres (9.8 ft) high. It has a three-stage semicircular base, and consists of a tapering column with a flat back and a conical cap (The ball has now gone). On the column are paired recessed inscribed panels: Hemsworth Wragby
Sheffield Wakefield

There are no distances shown, and on early maps it is referred to as a 'stone post'. 

1805 The guide post on a traffic island at the junction of Station Road with Pontefract Road is in sandstone and about 3 metres (9.8 ft) high. It has a hexagonal section and banded rustication  and consists of a straight-sided pedestal, a tapered column, a large triangular cap with inscriptions on all sides and some finger-pointers, and is surmounted by an ornamental wrought iron stand with three lamps (Now gone). On the sides of the cap are the distances to Pontefract 3, Hemsworth 3, East Hardwick 3, Snaith 15, Wentbridge 3 and Doncaster 13.

This photo shows it after Ackworth Heritage Group funded it's restoration in 2016 and erected railings around it as it had once had, but unfortunately they didn't last very long before being demolished by a vehicle.

Guide post dated 1827 at top of west side The guide post on a traffic island at the junction of Long Lane with Pontefract Road is in sandstone, partly rendered and about 3 metres (9.8 ft) high. It has an octagonal section, a base of two chamfered blocks, a tapered column, a large triangular cap, with a ball finial surmounted by a small cup-shaped iron bracket with a spur. On the sides of the cap are painted pointing fingers and the distances to Pontefract 2½ Barnsley 10 (west side) Darrington 3 York 29 (north-east side) Sheffield 13 East Hardwick 2½ (south-east side)

The original was an identical copy to the one on station road... But a lorry reduced it to powder. To make the repairs a bit cheaper. It was asked if it would be OK to replace it with artificial Stone.

(Information provided by Stephen Carlile - Ackworth Heritage)

Plague Stone

Probably Medieval.

The structure, at a road junction, may have been a cross base. It is in sandstone and consists of two stones about 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) wide on top of each other. In the centre of the upper stone is a square socket.

During the Plague of 1645, the hollow in the top stone was filled with vinegar to disinfect coins which were placed in it, in exchange for food and supplies left here on the boundary to the village.

Tenter Poles (posts)

Found by Stephen Parker (Quarry owner) on Constitution Hill, these 3 tenter poles were moved to outside the cemetry on Doncaster Road. They were used for stretching and drying cloth or skins. Wooden, horizontal rails would have been fixed to the posts through the holes. The cloth or skin was stretched along the rails. They were held in place by rows of tenterhooks attached to the rails. This is where we get the phrase ‘on tenterhooks’ from as the cloth was stretched tightly.

Village Cross

Possibly Late Medieval.  The village cross stands at a road junction, and is in sandstone. It has an octagonal base of three steps, about 4 metres (13 ft) in diameter, a low octagonal pedestal and a chamfered shaft with a moulded cap and a ball finial.

Ackworth Heritage Group was founded in 2000, to restore the village cross when the original ball from the top was stolen, and the shaft itself was damaged. There was quite some speculation on what kind of restoration should take place. Consultations with the West Yorkshire Archaeological society suggested that the original shaft may have been twice as high, and such a replacement may be more in keeping with the size of the base. While it's always referred to as the Village Cross there is no documentary evidence to show what was originally on the top... there is a village legend that Cromwell ordered the cross removed and replaced it with a ball, indeed that the ball on top was a cannonball!

(Information by Stephen Carlile - Ackworth Heritage Group)

War Memorial

The memorial was erected to celebrate the Millenium Celebrations. It stands at the roadside adjacent to a roundabout within Ackworth. It akes the form of a square plinth of stone blocks, ten courses high, with a pyramidal cap and surmounted by a small Celtic style wheel cross on a two stepped base. There are 83 names for World War 1 and 40 for World War 2. It was unveiled on 5th September 1999 by Dowager Ldy St Oswald.

The full Roll of Honour can be found here: