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Joining the Society

Lecture Programme

Lecture Notes 2017-2018


Recent Events

Wood Street: Heart of Wakefield

Coming Events

Summer Excursions

Discover Wakefield's History

The Society's History

Wakefield Historical Publications

Society Journals

Friends of Chantry Chapel

The Gissing Trust


Our associated websites:

Wakefield Waterfront

The Road to Fotheringhay







Wakefield Historical Society welcomes all those with an interest in history both on a local level and more widely. We aim to promote knowledge of the area's past and raise awareness of local heritage.  

We offer a programme of winter lectures and summer excursions, provide talks and organise conferences. Members receive a monthly e-newsletter, a quarterly newsletter and a Society Journal containing original research.  Activities for members include participating in themed projects and historical research.

Coming events

Wednesday 11 April, Chantry Chapel, 7.30pm

The talk at our next meeting is: Object Voices: Interpreting all our stories at the Mental Health Museum, Fieldhead, Wakefield by Cara Sutherland, previous Museum Curator. A chance to explore the often hidden histories of asylum culture through some of the Mental Health Museum's most important and significant objects. From the beautiful hand-stitched samplers of Mary Frances Heaton to the inscribed cutlery from the dining rooms, Cara Sutherland will take a journey through the history of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum via the untold stories of the people admitted, and the archives and the objects that remain.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the opening of the West Riding Lunatic Asylum (Stanley Royd). The Museum is one of only three in the country and houses a remarkable collection of mental health related objects that span the history of mental health care from the early 19th century through to the present day.

More information: Mental Health Museum


The first of the Society's summer excursions are now planned, for information and a booking form please see: Summer Excursions

A new publication: 'Guide to Historic Buildings in Wakefield' is now available to purchase.
More information: Publications

Find out about the 'Wood Street: Heart of Wakefield, Celebration Event', held on 10th March, and the banners now up and flying!: Wood Street: Heart of Wakefield.

A summary of the Members’ Evening talks that followed our AGM on 14 March 2018 can be found on Lecture Notes 2017-2018: Charles Watson: Unsung Hero of Wakefield (the Court House’ architect) by John Seacombe and The France Collection at Wakefield Museum: photographs of the Slazenger sports equipment factory by Shirley Levon.

Information recently added to the News page:

New telephone numbers for all West Yorkshire Archives centres.

Doncaster Heritage Festival, 28 April - 13 May

Pleasure Privilege, Privations, exhibition and talks about Lofthouse Park 1908-1922

Florence Nightingale and Yorkshire, talk at Leeds City Museum, 27 April

Film about the Sykes/Slazenger Archive at Wakefield Museum online

New programmes for the Local and Family History Network, Wakefield Group and Ossett and Horbury Group

Beer and Brewing Exhibition at Temple Newsam

Work about to start on the restoration of the park and gardens at Cannon Hall


























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