Discover the rich and interesting history of Wakefield
Apart from the information below, more about Wakefield’s history can be discovered by contacting us, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wakefield Local Studies Library at Wakefield One, and West Yorkshire Archives hold large collections of books, documents and maps, see: Links
PLEASE NOTE: All articles and images on the pages below are the Copyright of the authors and/or Wakefield Historical Society and are not to be copied in any medium without explicit written permission.
John Ruskin and Wakefield by Lesley Taylor.
2019 is the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth. This great art critic, artist and social thinker seems to have spent time in Wakefield, and soon after published a correspondence about the town. Ruskin wrote that the scene from Wakefield Bridge, by the Chapel, was one of the ‘two most frightful things I have ever yet seen in my life.’ Find out more about his views and what his correspondent ‘E.L’ thought of the town, the river, and Edward Green and his ‘Economiser’.
Wakefield World War One Roll of Honour. Steve Slade has compiled a database of names for the Wakefield Roll of Honour by researching the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and census records, and has given permission for the Society to host it here. This spreadsheet will download onto your computer, tablet or phone and is for information only; it should not be copied or reproduced in any form. If you wish to contact Steve Slade, please email: email@example.com and we will pass your query on.
Wakefield and its surroundings from John Warburton’s Map of Yorkshire 1720
The map of Yorkshire, made in 1720 by John Warburton, Somerset Herald, F.R.S., F.S.A., was made to a scale of two and a half miles to an inch from a survey by compass bearings and measured distances. It shows the road system, rivers, churches, major houses and their estates, windmills and distances.
Floods at Westgate Common. The new bridge on Westgate, completed in 2014 was designed to prevent the floods which had inundated the bottom of Westgate for centuries.
Westgate Station. The first railway station was opened in 1856, learn about this and the two later stations.
Dr J W Walker, the Churchwarden. Dr J W Walker is well-known as the writer of a history of Wakefield, and as a doctor, but Kate Taylor has researched his contribution as a churchwarden at the Cathedral.
The Benedictines at Heath by Ron Mulroy
The story of the nuns who settled at Heath having escaped from revolutionary France in 1792, and whose memory lives on in the gravestones at Kirkthorpe Church.
The Building that might have been the Town Hall by Kate Taylor. The opening of the Public Rooms in 1823 and the many uses they have had since – library, savings bank, Mechanics Istitute, music saloon, public baths, and most recently as the town’s museum.