Wakefield is a historic cathedral city in Yorkshire, on a hill overlooking the River Calder and 8 miles from Leeds (Yorkshire). For centuries it was an important woollen and cloth centre. It was also famous for the cultivation of rhubarb.
The Battle of Wakefield was fought in 1460, during the Wars of the Roses. It was after this battle that Richard, Duke of York, was executed. A second Battle of Wakefield was fought in 1643, during the Civil War.
A cycle of mystery plays, known as the Wakefield Plays, was performed regularly from the 15th century, and recounted Biblical stories.
Wakefield Cathedral was started in the 13th century, and was raised to cathedral status in 1888. Its crocketed spire rises to 247 feet.
The old town, around the cathedral and the main streets Westgate, Northgate and Kirkgate, is now largely pedestrianised.
St. John`s Church dates from the 18th century.
St. Mary`s Chantry Chapel, built in the 14th century, is one of only three chapels left on England`s bridgers. The others are at Rotherham and Bradford-on-Avon.
Wakefield Bridge, spanning the Calder, was built in the 1340s.
The City Museum contains a collection of birds and animals from South America, and a collection of local archaeological finds.
The Art Gallery includes work by two famous Yorkshire sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
The Theatre Royal and Opera House is the work of the renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham.
Wakefield Prison contains the original mulberry bush, brought to England in the 16th century, round which the women prisoners used to exercise, giving rise to the rhyme "Here We Go Round theMulberry Bush".
Among the prominent people born in Wakefield are Barbara Hepworth, sculptor; George Gissing, novelist; David Mercer, playwright; David Storey, playwright; and William Whiteley, leading London retailer.
"The Vicar of Wakefield" is a novel by Oliver Goldsmith, published in 1765.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Wakefield for groups.