Wakefield is a city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 76,886 in 2001, increasing slightly for the five Wakefield wards (East, North, Rural, South and West) to 77,512 at the 2011 Census.
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Hear Stanley Spencer in his own words in our animation of his painting The Lovers (The Dustmen).
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Those are just a few ideas of how to experience Wakefield and you’ll find all the information you need to know right here. Now it’s over to you, time to start planning...
Wakefield Westgate Retail and Leisure Park, Colinsway, Off Charlesworth Way, Wakefield WF2 9SH 0871 200 2000
Two children's nursery rhymes with Wakefield connections are "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" which may have been sung by women inmates at Wakefield prison. and "The Grand Old Duke of York" which may allude to the Battle of Wakefield in 1460, referring to Richard Plantagenet, the 3rd Duke of York. The lyrics of the popular hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" were written at St Peter's Church in nearby Horbury.
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The National Coal Mining Museum for England (an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage), the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Nostell Priory are within the Wakefield metropolitan area, as is Walton Hall, a Georgian mansion set in what was the world's first nature reserve, created by the explorer Charles Waterton; the house is now a hotel.
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Rugby Union Football is played at Sandal RUFC and was played by Wakefield RFC at College Grove from 1901 to 2004 when the club ceased to play.
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Experience something unique! Celebrate the famous Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb with a weekend packed full of live cookery demonstrations, street food, family workshops and more at the Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb held every February. Then, in July, delight your taste buds at the sweetest festival of the year, Pontefract Liquorice Festival celebrating the town’s historic link with the flavoursome plant.
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Wakefield was anciently a market and parish town in the Agbrigg division of the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It became a parliamentary borough with one Member of Parliament after the Reform Act 1832. In 1836 the Wakefield Poor Law Union was formed following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 with an elected Board of Guardians. The town was incorporated as a municipal borough with elected councillors in 1848 under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835.
There are seven ex-council estates in Wakefield which the council started to build after the First World War, the oldest is Portobello, the largest is Lupset and the rest are Flanshaw, Plumpton, Peacock, Eastmoor and Kettlethorpe. Homes not bought by occupants under the Right to Buy scheme were transferred to a registered social landlord, Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) in 2005. The outlying villages of Sandal Magna, Belle Vue and Agbrigg have become suburbs of Wakefield.
Wakefield Cathedral is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all. This commitment is shared by our staff and volunteers. For any concerns please contact the Sub Dean Tony Macpherson or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser Jenny Price.
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The Domesday Book recorded two churches, one in Wakefield and one in Sandal Magna. The Saxon church in Wakefield was rebuilt in about 1100 in stone in the Norman style and was continually enlarged until 1315 when the central tower collapsed. By 1420 the church was again rebuilt and was extended between 1458 and 1475.
The old Wakefield Bridge with its Chantry Chapel, Sandal Castle, and Lawe Hill in Clarence Park are ancient monuments. Another prominent structure is the 95-arch railway viaduct, constructed of 800,000,000 bricks in the 1860s on the Doncaster to Leeds railway line. At its northern end is a bridge with an 80-foot (24 m) span over Westgate and at its southern end a 163-foot (50 m) iron bridge crossing the River Calder.
View All Events News from The Cathedral September Art ExhibitionArtist Steve Simpson brings together a group of Artists whose work is as individual as they are. More details here.
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Wakefield's newspaper, the Wakefield Express, was founded in 1852. Another newspaper, the Wakefield Guardian was established in 2007, but has ceased publishing. Wakefield has a radio station, Ridings FM.
We’re proud to be home to award winning art galleries and the birthplace of renowned sculptors Dame Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
Wakefield was dubbed the "Merrie City" in the Middle Ages and in 1538 John Leland described it as, "a very quick market town and meately large; well served of fish and flesh both from sea and by rivers ... so that all vitaile is very good and chepe there. A right honest man shall fare well for 2d. a meal. ... There be plenti of se coal in the quarters about Wakefield".[nb 1]
Don't just try something new, try something unique! Create your own neon sculptures, journey into the dungeons of a medieval castle, have a sleepover at a nature reserve and lots more.
Battle it out with friends and colleagues by playing your favourite game on our massive screens. Our state of the art digital projectors mean Big Screen Gaming is available at all our cinemas across the UK and Ireland. With fantastic surround sound speakers you’ll be blown away by every explosion, kick of the ball and rev of the engine. Bring along your favourite game and experience it on the big screen, like you’ve never seen it before.
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Celebrating it's fifth year, this week long celebration of reading, writing and poetry includes over 70 events held in unique places across the district.
Today the city is the headquarters of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and West Yorkshire Police. Since 1987, the district council has been based in County Hall.
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The name "Wakefield" may derive from "Waca's field" – the open land belonging to someone named "Waca" or could have evolved from the Old English word wacu, meaning "a watch or wake", and feld, an open field in which a wake or festival was held. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it was written Wachefeld and also as Wachefelt.
Leading international designer, Tom Stuart-Smith has been chosen to design one of the UK's largest free public gardens at The Hepworth Wakefield.
A small part of the 1977 BBC film The Price of Coal was filmed in Wakefield with the Mines Rescue Team based in the city. The end credits of the film give special thanks to the team.