Skip Hire Wakefield

In the 18th century, Wakefield traded in corn, coal mining and textiles and in 1888 its parish church acquired cathedral status. It became the county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire and seat of the West Riding County Council (based at the purpose-built County Hall) in 1889 until 1974 when the county and council were abolished. It became the seat of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1974 until its dissolution in 1986.

Before 1066 the manor of Wakefield belonged to Edward the Confessor and it passed to William the Conqueror after the Battle of Hastings. After the Conquest Wakefield was a victim of the Harrying of the North in 1069 when William the Conqueror took revenge on the local population for resistance to Norman rule.

The settlement was recorded as Wachfeld in the Domesday Book of 1086, and covered a much greater area than present day Wakefield, much of which was described as “waste”. The manor was granted by the crown to William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey whose descendants, the Earls Warenne, inherited it after his death in 1088.

The construction of Sandal Castle began early in the 12th century. A second castle was built at Lawe Hill on the north side of the Calder but was abandoned.

Wakefield and its environs formed the caput of an extensive baronial holding by the Warennes that extended to Cheshire and Lancashire. The Warennes, and their feudal sublords, held the area until the 14th century, when it passed to their heirs. Norman tenants holding land in the region included the Lyvet family at Lupset.

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.

In 1203 William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey received a grant for a market in the town. In 1204 King John granted the rights for a fair at the feast of All Saints, 1 November, and in 1258 Henry III granted the right for fair on the feast of St John the Baptist, 24 June. The market was close to the Bull Ring and the church.

The townsfolk of Wakefield amused themselves in games and sports earning the title “Merrie Wakefield”, the chief sport in the 14th century was archery and the butts in Wakefield were at the Ings, near the river.During the Wars of the Roses, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York was killed on 30 December 1460 in the Battle of Wakefield near Sandal Castle.

As preparation for the impending invasion by the Spanish Armada in April 1558, 400 men from the wapentake of Morley and Agbrigg were summoned to Bruntcliffe near Morley with their weapons. Men from Kirkgate, Westgate, Northgate and Sandal were amongst them and all returned by August. At the time of the Civil War, Wakefield was a Royalist stronghold.

An attack led by Sir Thomas Fairfax on 20 May 1643 captured the town for the Parliamentarians. Over 1500 troops were taken prisoner along with the Royalist commander, Lieutenant-General Goring.

In medieval times Wakefield became an inland port on the Calder and centre for the woollen and tanning trades. In 1699 an Act of Parliament was passed creating the Aire and Calder Navigation which provided the town with access to the North Sea.

The first Registry of Deeds in the country opened in 1704 and in 1765 Wakefield’s cattle market was established and became the one of largest in the north of England. The town was a centre for cloth dealing, with its own piece hall, the Tammy Hall, built in 1766. In the late 1700s Georgian town houses and St John’s Church were built to the north of the town centre.

Areas We Cover

  • WF1

    Agbrigg, Altofts, Belle Vue, Botto Boat, Calder, East Moor, Goosehill, Heath Common, Kirkthorpe, Lofthouse Gate, Newton Hill, Outwood, Snow Hill, Stanley, Stanley Ferry, Thornes, Wakefield, Warmfield

  • WF2

    Agbrigg, Altofts, Alverthorpe, Balna Beck, Beck Bottom, Belle Vue, Bottom Boat, Brandy Carr, Calder, Calder Grove, Carr Gate, Chapelthorpe, Crigglestone, Durkar

  • WF3

    Altofts, Balna Beck, Bantam Grove, Beck Bottom, Beggarington Hill, Bottom Boat, Brandy Carr, Carlton, Carr Gate, East rdsley, Haigh Moor

  • WF4

    Ackton, Ackworth Moor Top, Agbrigg, Alverthorpe, Belle Vue, Boothroyd, Brakenhill, Briestfield, Calder, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Calder Grove, Chapelthorpe, Chickenley, Cold Hiendley

  • WF5

    Beck Bottom, Brandy Carr, Chickenley, Chidswell, Flushdyke, Gawthorpe, Jaw Hill, Kirkhamgate, Lodge Hill, Ossett. Ossett Street Side, Shepherd Hill

  • WF6

    Ackton, Altofts, Goosehill, Hopetown, Hungate (Leeds), Loscoe, Lower Altofts, Methley, Methley Junction

  • WF7

    Ackton, Ackworth Moor Top, Brakenhill, Crofton, Featherstone, Fitzwilliam, Foulby, Hessle, High Ackworth

  • WF8

    Ackworth Moor Top, Aire and Calder Navigation, Airedale, Badsworth, Beal, Brotherton, Byram, Carleton, Chequerfield

  • WF9

    Ackworth Moor Top, Badsworth, Brakenhill, Brierley, Fitzwilliam, Hampole, Hemsworth, Hessle, High Ackworth

  • WF10

    Aire, Airedale, Allerton Bywater, Castleford, Cutsyke, Fairburn, Ferrybridge, Glass Houghton, Great Preston

  • WF11

    Aire, Aire and Calder Navigation, Airedale, Beal, Birkin, Brotherton, Burton Salmon, Byram, Cridling Stubbs

  • WF12

    Batley, Batley Carr, Beggarington Hill, Birstall Smithies, Boothroyd, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Carlinghow, Chickenley, Chidswell

  • WF13

    Batley Carr, Boothroyd, Clerk Green, Crackenedge, Dewsbury, Dewsbury Moor

  • WF15

    Cleckheaton, Hartshead Moor Side, Heckmondwike, Hightown, Hightown Heights, Littletown

  • WF14

    Battyeford, Bracken Hill, Colne Bridge, Dewsbury Moor, Hartshead, Hartshead Moor Side, Healey

  • WF16

    Birstall Smithies, Healey, Heckmondwike, Westfield, White Lee

  • WF17

    Adwalton, Batley, Batley Carr, Birks, Birstall, Birstall Smithies, Bruntcliffe, Carlinghow