Pontefract (pŏnˈtĭfrăkt, pŭmˈfrĭt) [key], town (1991 pop. 28,621), Wakefield metropolitan district, N England. It is an industrial city; furniture, iron products, and textiles are made. Pomfret cakes are licorice lozenges made there. West of Pontefract is a racecourse. Situated on the edge of coal fields, Pontefract grew around a castle built in the 11th cent. on the site of a Saxon fort. It was the scene of the death of Richard II, was taken in the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, and was besieged four times in the civil wars.