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Joining the Society

Lecture Programme

Lecture Notes 2014-2015


Recent Events

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 and organise talks and short courses. Members receive a monthly e-newsletter, a quarterly newsletter and a Society Journal containing original research. 

Activities for members include historical and archaeological investigations and the transcribing and indexing of original documents.

kate Taylor


There is very sad news that Kate Taylor has passed away. She will be a tremendous loss and will be sorely missed. She made a huge contribution to Wakefield and local history researching and publishing tirelessly, often in previously unresearched areas like Wakefield cinema and theatre. She also offered warm support to others, both individuals and organisations like the Wakefield Historical Society, to encourage involvement in history.

For very many years she guided the Society as its President, retiring only recently. She was always prepared to do the hard work, and she was a mainstay in Wakefield Historical Publications and the Friends of the Chantry Chapel, and in many other ways. Her funeral took place on 5 June at Westgate Chapel.

Wakefield Waterfront Project

The Society conducted a project during 2013-2014 to research the history of Wakefield Waterfront with the help of the local community. You can now watch a film put together during the project. It follows the changes over time on the Waterfront and includes recordings of people's memories of living and working on the Waterfront in the past. More information on our dedicated website: Wakefield Waterfront

coming events

If you would like to find out more about Wakefield Historical Society we shall be at the Party on the Bridge on 11th July. Please see: News

Summer Excursions. Please note that these excursions are only available for Society members and their guests.

Walk at Walton Hall on 4 July led by John Whitaker of Wakefield Museum, to discover Charles Waterton's estate.

Our next summer coach excursion is on Sunday 19th July; Grimsthorpe Castle, Park and Gardens

More information: Summer Excursions


An account of the excursion to Bedale and Tennant's Auction House at Leyburn appears on Recent Events.

Recently added to the News page:

Talk on the history of Sunday Schools by John Goodchild on 9th July, Westgate Chapel, 7pm

Information about the Party on the Bridge to celebrate 25 years of the Friends of Chantry Chapel

Exhibition at the National Coal Mining Museum on Rugby League, 1-20 August

Opportunities to volunteer at the National Coal Mining Museum

The Open Day at Queens Mill Castleford on 11 July

Information about the Family and Local History Networks at Wakefield and Ossett, including the change of venue for the Ossett group.

New content on the Discover Wakefield's History page:

Have you forgotten when Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Wakefield, when Marsh Way was opened or when the Greyhound Stadium was closed? Events in Wakefield in the last century are listed in Kate Taylor's Timeline of Wakefield in the 20th Century

Do you live on the Lupset Estate, or perhaps you grew up there? Discover its history in Walk around Lupset.

Find out where you could have watched cock-fighting, played bagatelle or dominoes, or listened to a Polyphon in the past in Entertainment in some of Wakefield's public houses and inns, by Kate Taylor.

Have you ever been unsure about the dates of historical events in Wakefield? Find out from Kate Taylor's article: Some Key Dates in Wakefield's History








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