Chantry Chapel. The Hepworth. Woolstaplers Warehouses. There are some truly unique buildings in Wakefield. Each building is a way of representing a different period in the City's history, and who could deny that we have some of the most unusual architecture in Yorkshire in Wakefield.
There's the world-famous Hepworth, which very much splits opinion due to its striking, unusual appearance. There are countless others, but in this roundup, we're taking a look at 6 of our favourites.
6 Of The Most Iconic Buildings In Wakefield
The Chantry Chapel dates back almost 700 years to a time where the landscape of Wakefield would have been dramatically different. It's one of only four of its kind still standing in the UK today. It forms an integral part of the structure of the Medieval bridge of the River Calder. In those 700 long years, it's been a library, an office, a cheese shop and was restored in the 1800s.
Like many buildings, built during this time period, the architectural design of the County Hall was tendered and invited various architects to compete for the work. Apparently, there were varying styles proposed for the building, which is interesting to think that it could have turned out so differently. The winning style was a Gothic style, with lavish murals, tiling and mosaics. It's been refurbished and expanded over the years, but remains a head turner for many visitors.
Where Chantry Chapel and County Hall each tell their own stories about Wakefields Medieval and Victorian development, Woolstaplers' Warehouse is an important building due to its part in the industry that served to form a strong foundation for modern Wakefield. Wakefield was once a centre of trading for corn and wool. Cheapside was developed and populated by woolstaplers, who would sort and resell imported goods.
Stanley Royd Hospital
Used as flats in the modern day, Stanley Royd Hospital was once part of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, and following that housed The Mental Health Museum, which has since moved locations to Fieldhead Hospital. It is a striking insight into the history of psychiatrists and tells a very valuable and insightful story about how mental health was viewed in the past.
Another incredibly old building, Wakefield Cathedral is the tallest church in Yorkshire and has a long and fascinating history. Although it has been developed and rebuilt at various points over the past 900 years, the building which exists today dates back to the 14th century. Its 247-foot tall spire is visible from many of the suburbs of Wakefield and even beyond on a clear day.
The Hepworth is one of the leading contemporary art museums in Europe. It's the largest purpose-built gallery in the UK outside of London and attracts art lovers from all over. It's set on the waterfront of the River Calder and offers a tranquil atmosphere despite being so close to the City Centre. Its name is in respect of Barbara Hepworth, who was born and educated in Wakefield.
So there you have it, those are our 6 favourite buildings in Wakefield, and what we think are the most iconic!
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