New homes in Wakefield
New homes in Wakefield
Welcome to Wakefield
Whether you’re exploring the local parks, browsing art collections or simply enjoying a spot of retail therapy, there really is something for everyone to love about Wakefield. Located in the heart of Yorkshire just a short drive away from Leeds, your new home in Wakefield offers great transport links along with rural living, top cultural attractions and even more besides.
A quick history
Written records of Wakefield date back to the Domesday Book in 1086, but historians believe the town was settled much earlier than this, in the 5th or 6th centuries. At that time the town centred around the Manor of Wakefield, and after the Norman Conquest, ownership passed from Edward the Confessor to William the Conqueror. Relationships with the new king were tense as the people of Wakefield were against Norman rule which resulted in the Harrying of the North, when many people were killed and homes destroyed.
By the 13th century Wakefield had a regular market, and the town became known as ‘Merrie Wakefield’ thanks to its love of sports and games. In the 15th century the War of the Roses affected the town, especially during the Battle of Wakefield.
The 19th century was a prosperous time for Wakefield, with the success of the wool and grain trade alongside the river and canal. The local cattle market also became one of the biggest in England. Today, Wakefield is a vibrant cultural town with lots to offer the local community.
Business and industry
Historically, industry in Wakefield has centred around wool, grains, glass and brewing. Mining was also important, with the National Coal Board being one of the town’s biggest employers. By the end of the 20th century, many of the mines and manufacturing facilities were closed, but today the town’s economy is diverse with employers spanning retail, motor repairs and healthcare.
Local employers include Wakefield Council and clothing retailer Bonmarche, whose UK headquarters and distribution office are located in the town. Leeds is just a short drive away, where employers include Asda, Jet2.com and Tetley’s brewery.
Things to do in the area
Wakefield has a vibrant town centre, and if you enjoy shopping, there are lots of places to get your retail therapy fix including Trinity Walk and the Ridings Shopping Centre where you’ll find high street and designer shopping. For cultural sights, you can visit The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, Wakefield Museum or The National Coal Mining Museum, while historic places of interest include Wakefield Cathedral and Sandal Castle.
If you need a breath of fresh country air, there are lots of places to enjoy a walk close-by, including Thornes Clarence Park, Angler’s Country Park and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. When night falls, go and see a play at the Theatre Royal Wakefield, or mark your calendar and prepare for one of the town’s many annual festivals including Seaside in the City and the Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb.
Travel and commuting
Wakefield is close to the M1 and has its own well-connected train station, so it’s easy to commute to some of the UK’s biggest towns and cities from your new home. Leeds is 20 minutes away from the town by car or 15 minutes by train, while Bradford and Halifax are both a 30-minute drive away. Sheffield is a 40-minute drive away, or just 30 minutes when travelling by train.
If you’re travelling to London, the train from Wakefield Westgate to King’s Cross is direct and takes just two hours 15 minutes, perfect if you need to commute to the capital. For air travel, Leeds Bradford Airport is a 45-minute drive away and Doncaster Sheffield Airport can be reached in 50 minutes.