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Wakefield Cathedral

Not only do we sell houses in Wakefield, we love the city we work in. Here is the first of a series of articles about local landmarks


Wakefield Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of All Saints, is just one of the many historical marvels that make Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, a magical place to visit.

Set in the centre of the city, sitting proudly on Kirkgate hill and with its seventy five metre high spire, the majestic Cathedral dominates all other structures in Wakefield, and can be seen for miles around. Originally a parish church, Wakefield Cathedral has undergone a number of transformations, upgrades and changes since it was originally built as well as witnessing one the bloodiest battles, War of the Roses and the horrific plague.

Famously discussed as being the church cited in the 1086 Doomsday book, it was revealed to have been created on the site of a Saxon church in 1900 when extensions were made and proof of its origins were exposed. In 1090, the church and land was given to Lewes Priory in Sussex by William II which later resulted in the Norman church being built.

In 1329 the Norman church was remodeled and later in 1469, was again rebuilt and extended, bar the tower and the spire. Over the years the church was revamped and reformed numerous times, until in 1823 when the original spire was marred in a storm and was forced to be restored.  

Known as “All Hallows” by the Anglo Saxon until the sixteenth century, the church soon became coined “All Saints” after the Reformation and went under mass restoration before being left to deteriorate in the eighteenth century. It wasn’t until 1858 that Sir George Gilbert Scott and his son John Oldrid revived the church to its present gothic appearance which we see today.

The church jurisdiction - the diocese - was  established in 1888 and All Saints Church was named the Cathedral of the Diocese, one of three co-equal Anglican cathedrals for the Diocese of Leeds and a seat of the Bishop of Leeds.

Today, Wakefield Cathedral welcomes people from all walks of life to come on in, worship God, find faith, say a prayer, light a candle, seek advice or simply sit and be peaceful. As a cultural hub set in the midst of the city centre, All Saints encourages people from near and far to enjoy the beautiful building and the amazing atmosphere.

But you don’t have to be religious to enjoy the wonders of Wakefield Cathedral; the architecture alone is breathtaking. Explore the awe-inspiring stained glass work by Charles Kempe who conceived a great number of stunning artworks, from colourful portrayals of the Middle Ages, dark depictions of the Old Testament and light and playful renderings of the New Testament. Discover the intriguing and intricate medieval carvings of animals, owls and green men as well as the delicate carved screen behind the alter. Marvel at the rare octagonal font dating back to 1661 and quieten your mind, body and spirit by walking the labyrinth. There truly is a mountain of reasons to delve into the historical wonder that is Wakefield Cathedral.  

Furthermore, Wakefield is home to an outstanding musical excellence and if it’s music you’re into, All Saints is the place to go for something really special. From the impressive Compton organ to the beautiful set of cathedral bells, not to mention the internationally acclaimed choir, Wakefield Cathedral has something for everyone.

So whether you are a local to Wakefield or a traveller from afar, All Saints Church welcomes you warmly to enjoy the history and the spirituality, open from 9am until 4pm, Monday to Saturday, entrance is free, but donations are welcome. If you are interested in times of worship, specific service times are in place.