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Wakefield Cathedral

History

The Parish Church of All Saints was elevated to cathedral status in 1888. The first bishop was William Walsham How, the well known hymn writer. Eric Treacy, the “railway bishop”, was Bishop of Wakefield between 1968 & 1976 and the chapter house shaped cathedral hall of 1982 is named after him.

It is thought that worship may have been offered on this site since the days of the Saxons but the earliest stonework dates from Norman times. The bulk of the present fabric is basically late medieval, restored in the nineteenth century by Gilbert Scott.

The new east end, in memory of Bishop Walsham How, was designed by J L Pearson at the turn of the 19th century after the church had become a cathedral, the work being executed by F L Pearson, following his father’s death. The eastern chapel, dedicated to St Mark, is particularly fine.

Our diocese includes the former textile or coal mining towns of Todmorden, Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Castleford, Pontefract and Barnsley. Parishes from these and other smaller places regularly visit the cathedral for special services.

 

Attractions

Come to find:
A place of peace in the centre of a busy industrial town.
A Yorkshire welcome.
Eucharistic based worship, including four Sunday Services and regular weekday services, including a daily communion service.
Dedicated choirs of boys, girls and lay clerks who sing on Sundays and some weekdays.
The tallest spire in Yorkshire and the fifth highest in the country (247 feet)
An early 17th century screen surmounted by a rood loft containing Sir Ninian Comper’s fine carved rood figures, his last set, dating from 1950.
An almost complete set of stained glass windows by C E Kempe, spanning the whole of his career.
Some medieval woodwork and good late medieval roofs.

Local Interest

One of four surviving medieval bridge chantries (check at the cathedral for access).

New Barbara Hepworth Gallery (Hepworth was born in Wakefield).

Sculpture Park at nearby Bretton.

The National Mining Museum is only a few miles away along the road to Huddersfield.