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Joining the Society

Lecture Programme

Lecture Notes 2016-2017


Recent Events

Wood Street: Heart of Wakefield

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.

John Goodchild

We are saddened to learn of the death of John Goodchild, peacefully at home, on the 6th January. A Vice President of our Society, John will be a most tragic loss to local history, given the extensive breadth and depth of his knowledge. An obituary recognising John's life and achievements can be found here: John Goodchild 1935-2017.

A report of John's funeral on 31st January, and John's own account of his life can be found on Recent Events.

Coming events

Our next Society meeting is on 12 April, Chantry Chapel, 7.30pm: 'Flames and Feathers: Tulips in Wakefield since the 18th Century' byJames Akers, MBE, Patron of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society. His talk will cover the development of Florists' flowers in the UK in 18th/19th centuries, how they came to Wakefield in the 18th century, and the history of the society and some ot its members, plus a brief look at the flowers themselves.

Wood Street: Heart of Wakefield

Did you work or live in Wood Street? Do you have interesting stories or anecdotes about the shops, pubs, or the bank there? Perhaps you worked in the Town Hall or at the Law Courts? We are seeking people who would be prepared to be informally interviewed about their experiences or to come for training in conducting oral interviews. Please contact us, we would be pleased to hear from you.
More information: Wood Street: Heart of Wakefield


A summary of the two talks at the Society's AGM on 8 March 2017: The Red Shed: A Prehistory by Ken Rowley and 20th Century Piano Lessons and an Eighteenth Century Dancing Master by Lesley Taylor have been added to: Lecture Notes

Accounts of the Society's donation to the Friends of Chantry Chapel on 23rd January, the Society's visits to the new West Yorkshire History Centre on the 9th February, and to the National Mining Museum's 'Lest we Forget' event on 11th February, have been added to the Recent Events page.

Information recently added to the News page:

Lottery funding for Kirklees Archives project to move to Heritage Quay in Huddersfield

Unveiling of the Oaks Memorial on 7 May in Barnsley

Information sought about remarkable Wakefield women for new book.

Wakefield Socialist History Group event, BRITISH SOCIALISM AND WORLD WAR ONE, 1 April at 1PM

Information about South Leeds Archaeology

Heritage walks and events at Yorkshire Sculpture park, Bretton

Kinderstransport Display at the Peace Museum Bradford























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