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 has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list with the award of MBE for her services to heritage and community in Wakefield. The award is justly deserved. Kate worked tirelessly to educate people from all walks of life about the history of Wakefield and preserve its heritage for future generations. Her son Simon Jenkins will accept the honour on her behalf.
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
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. See: Summer Excursions
An account of the excursion to Bedale and Tennant's Auction House at Leyburn appears on Recent Events.
A summary of John Goodchild's second and third talks on Railways around Wakefield appears on Lecture Notes
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
Talk on the Barnsley Canal, by John Goodchild, 16th July
Information about the Nightingale Festival, commemorating the death of Charles Waterton 150 years ago
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