Wakefield Cathedral
Wakefield Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield is the cathedral for the Church of England's Diocese of Wakefield and is the seat of the Bishop of Wakefield. The cathedral has Anglo Saxon origins and the tallest cathedral spire in Yorkshire. It is the tallest building in the City of Wakefield.

The cathedral stands on the site of a Saxon church in the centre of Wakefield. Evidence of the Saxon building was discovered in 1900 when extensions to the east end of the building were made. In 1090 King William II gave the church and land in Wakefield to Lewes Priory in Sussex and shortly after that a Norman church was built. Up to the 16th century the church was known by the Anglo Saxon All Hallows and after the Reformation changed to All Saints. In 1888, the Diocese of Wakefield was created and All Saints church became the cathedral of the diocese. Unusually, it still serves as a parish church, meaning that until 2000 the head of the chapter of canons was called the provost, rather than the dean. In January 2000 a parish boundary change brought the chantry chapel on Wakefield Bridge into the care of the cathedral.

The cathedral was built in the Perpendicular Gothic style in the early 15th century and restored to its late mediaeval appearance between 1858-1874 by Sir George Gilbert Scott in ashlar sandstone. The north aisle is the oldest part of the church, the north wall dates from about 1150. The chancel, a transept and chapel were built at the east end in 1904 to designs by John Loughborough Pearson and completed by his son, F L Pearson. The large four stage west tower has angle buttresses and a very tall crocketed spire behind an embattled parapet with crocketed corner pinnacles and is 247 feet (75 m) tall, the highest spire in Yorkshire. On the south wall is a porch with a sundial over the door arch. None of the medieval stained glass survives and most of the cathedral's windows were created by Charles Eamer Kempe. The archives of Wakefield Cathedral are held at West Yorkshire Archive Service in Wakefield.

The organ of 1902 built by Abbott and Smith was rebuilt by John Compton in London in 1951 - 1952. It was again rebuilt and restored by Wood of Hudderfield in 1985. There have been four organists of the Cathedral in 120 years , with Jonathan Bielby being the longest serving English Cathedral organist.
  • 1886 Joseph Naylor Hardy
  • 1930 Newell S. Wallbank
  • 1945 Percy George Saunders
  • 1970 - 2010 (Easter Day) Jonathan Bielby
  • 2010 - current Thomas Moore
  • William Frederick Dunnill 1896 - 1900
  • John Scott
  • Peter David Gould 1975 - 1983
  • Gareth Green 1983 - 1985
  • Keith Wright 1985 - 1991
  • Sean Farrell 1991 - 1997
  • Louise Reid 1997 - 2002
  • Thomas Moore 2002 - 2010
  • Daniel Justin 2010
  • Simon Earl 2011 - Current
The Wakefield Cathedral Choir, directed by Thomas Moore and assisted by Simon Earl (assistant director of music) and Daniel Justin (organ scholar), consists of boys, girls and men who perform at the cathedral and have appeared on BBC One's Songs of Praise and BBC Radio 3's Choral Evensong. In 1992 Wakefield Cathedral became only the second cathedral in Britain to form a girls' choir.

2005 Maundy Money Ceremony
In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II visited the cathedral for the Maundy money Ceremony.

Under the recommendations of the Dioceses Commission's Yorkshire Review, the Diocese and See of Wakefield would be dissolved to facilitate the creation of a new Diocese of Wakefield, with Wakefield Cathedral as the principal seat of the new diocesan Bishop of Wakefield. The Canons from the College of Wakefield Cathedral would merge into a new diocesan college, and the Dean of Wakefield would become the Dean of that College (with the Deans of Ripon and Bradford as his Vice-Deans).

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com