Pontefract Cakes originate in the 1760s!
Liquorice had been introduced to Britain in around the 11th Century, brought by either monks or crusaders returning from the Middle East. It became known for having medicinal properties and Pontefract Castle’s former dungeons were used to store liquorice roots.
An apothecary (old fashioned name for a Chemist) in the Pontefract area, George Dunhill, added sugar to the liquorice to create a chewable version that was purely for pleasure. The round, black discs became known as Pontefract cakes. By the 19th Century, 25,000 cakes a day were being made in factories across Yorkshire, each one stamped with an image of Pontefract Castle.
Who would have thought that a little sweet could have so much history!