Antiques centre at former Pontefract Magistrates’ Court is ‘lovely treasure chest’ on high street

It heard the cases of thousands of accused criminals in its 200 year history as a courthouse, but the atmosphere at the former Pontefract Magistrates building is rather different today.

Since January, the historic site has been operating as a market and antiques centre, a venture that holds a personal connection for its owner Philip Weatherell.

Not only did his grandmother Mary Lord sit on the magistrates’ bench for over a decade in the 1960s and 70s, but by transforming the site into a community venue selling vintage and quirky items from bygone eras, the businessman is also following in the footsteps of his mother Kay, who owns the Montpellier Mews Antiques centre in Harrogate.

Philip, whose company Weatherell Investments purchased the site in August 2016, three years after the court’s closure, hoped the Magistrates Market would support independent retailers on the high street, attract new footfall to Pontefract town centre and breathe fresh life into a disused Grade II-Listed building at a time when UK high streets are struggling with vacant properties and the closures of shops, post offices and banks.

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