About Wakefield


The Yorkshire city of Wakefield is one that has an abnormally high ratio of council housing - nearly half the city's residential property is council-owned - much of which falls under the auspices of a newly publicly-appointed social landlord.

Along with its affordable housing, the city has become famous for its many cultural features such as its central Art Gallery and Museum, showcasing local painting, ceramics and heritage.

If you travel out of town slightly there are a variety of other points of interest, whatever your tastes: the country and the region's history of coal extraction and its connections to the Industrial Revolution is shown off at the National Coal Mining Museum; one-time base of operations for Richard, Duke of York and opening location in Shakespeare's Henry VI, Sandal Castle lies on the banks of the river Calder.

The attraction that Wakefield is best known for is an appropriate one, considering the city is the birthplace of perhaps the two most celebrated British sculptors of recent years - Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park exhibits works by some of the country and the world's foremost exponents of three dimensional art in a beautiful rural setting, and it is probably the best place to see sculpture in Britain.

One of the city's less prestigious sights is HMP Wakefield, the highest security prison in the country, which in recent years has played host to some of Britain's most notorious criminals such as Charles Bronson, Ian Huntley and Harold Shipman; there is also a women's prison on the outskirts.

The local area, and more specifically Wakefield itself, are at the centre of the country's rhubarb trade, in fact the region - affectionately known as 'The Rhubarb Triangle' - holds an annual festival in honour of the vegetable!