Like many towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom, Wakefield has evolved and changed over the last 1,000 years. Wakefield had long been regarded as the capital of the West Riding of Yorkshire since the Middle Ages, being one of the largest population centres till the late eighteenth century. The town had been a Parliamentary Borough, returning its own MP to London from 1832 and became a Municipal Borough with a mayor from 1848.
By 2014 all the coalmines and all but one of the mills have closed in recent decades, being replaced by light industrial areas and service centres for international companies. This book aims to presents Wakefield rich heritage through rare archive photographs which are published here for the first time.