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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.

If you want to know the arrangements for her funeral, we expect them to be posted on the Cathedral website at or you can contact our Secretary at or on 0797 144 9451.

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

Our next summer excursion is on Wednesday 10 June to Bedale and the Tennant Auction House.Please note that these excursions are only available for Society members and their guests.
More information:
Summer Excursions


Find out about the Gott Collection - a summary of John Goodchild's talks in March and April appear on the Recent Events page.

On the same page is a summary of the first of John Goodchild's talks: Railways in the Wakefield Area.

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

Recently added to the News page:

Adult programme at Leeds Museums: Life through the lens historic photographs, Hospitals of WW1 focussing on Temple Newsam, Leonora Cohen, a Leeds Suffragette.

The archaeology of Wakefield Castle, results of the geophysics investigation, 20 May, Thornes Park

Talk on Edith Cavell, World War One nurse at Leeds University, 22nd June

Talks and Events at the York Festival of Ideas in June including the theme of Eoforwic, Anglian-era York.






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