Administrative counties of England
Administrative counties were a level of subnational division of England used for the purposes of local government from 1889 to 1974. They were created by the Local Government Act 1888 as the areas for which county councils were elected; some large counties were divided into several administrative counties, each with its own county council. The administrative counties were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 and were replaced by the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England. In 1888 the government, led by the Tory prime minister Lord Salisbury established county councils throughout England and Wales, covering areas known as administrative counties. Many larger towns and cities were given the status of county borough, with similar powers and independent of county council control. Under the Act, each county borough was an "administrative county of itself". Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and Yorkshire were split up for administrative purposes, following historical divisions used by the Courts of Quarter Sessions.
Additionally there was a County of London. The Isle of Wight was administered as part of Hampshire but became its own administrative county in 1890. In 1894 a uniform two-tier system was established outside the county boroughs and London, with subdivisions of the administrative counties called urban districts, rural districts and municipal boroughs; the structure was complete once the County of London was divided into metropolitan boroughs in 1900. Most exclaves of counties were eliminated under the Counties Act 1844, but in 1894 county councils were given the power to adjust county boundaries, most of the remaining anomalies were removed in the next few years. For example, the Measham area of Derbyshire was transferred to Leicestershire in 1897; the map shows the county boroughs. When a county borough expanded into territory of a county, not the one it came from, maps sometimes showed this as an increase in size of the county the county borough was associated with. Monmouthshire, not shown on the map, was reckoned for some legal purposes among the English counties for most of this period.
The 1888 Act did not contain a list of administrative counties: it was not until 1933 and the passing of a new Local Government Act that they were enumerated in the Act's schedule. Unlike the 1888 Act, the 1933 Act did not include county boroughs as administrative counties. In legislation and formal documents the suffix "shire" was not used: for example, Bedfordshire was referred to as "the administrative county of Bedford" and the Northamptonshire council as the "county council of Northampton". In the case of Lancashire and Cheshire the councils were the "county council of the palatine county". Shropshire was always entitled the "county of Salop"; the right of Berkshire to be described as a "royal county" was recognised by the monarch in 1958. On 1 April 1959 the administrative county of Southampton was renamed as Hampshire; this system was the basis of the ceremonial counties used for Lieutenancy – except that Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Sussex were not split for Lieutenancy..
The table lists the area and population of each administrative county at the censuses of 1891 and 1961. Several county councils had administrative headquarters outside of their area; this was because the traditional county town was a county borough. The headquarters of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire county councils were moved from the county boroughs to locations within their respective administrative counties; the boundaries of the administrative counties changed over time. The reasons for this were threefold: the growth of towns on either side of an existing boundary, the creation and extension of county boroughs and the elimination of outlying exclaves and other anomalies; as urbanisation increased, suburbs were built on a scale not seen before, the urban areas surrounding various towns and cities started to cross traditional county borders. The Local Government Act 1888 provided that in the case that an urban sanitary district crossed a county border, the entire district would be considered part of the county in which the larger part was.
This condition was maintained with the expansion of municipal boroughs. Towns that were split by historic borders and were unified in one administrative county include Banbury, Tamworth, Todmorden. Urban districts to annexe areas in another counties include: Little Bowden in Northamptonshire, annexed by Market Harborough, Leicestershire Mellor and Ludworth, in Derbyshire, annexed by Marple in Cheshire Additionally, the territory and population of administrative counties was reduced by the increasing numbers of county boroughs, extensions thereof; this was recognised as a problem, the process of creation and enlargement of such boroughs was made more difficult by the Local Government Act 1926. By June 1970 25% of the population were within the county boroughs. On creation, many of the administrative counties had a number of exclaves. During the 1890s most of these were eliminated, with parishes being exchanged between counties; the boundaries of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire contained numerous enclaves and exclaves, were realigned in 1931.
Throughout the next century, debates took place about what should be done about local government in respect of the increasing urbanisation of the country. Proposals to expand or change county boroughs or to create larger urban counties were discussed, but nothing happened until 1963, when legislation was passed to come into
Doncaster is a large town in South Yorkshire, England. Together with its surrounding suburbs and settlements, the town forms part of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, which had a mid-2017 est. population of 308,900. The town itself has a population of 109,805 The Doncaster Urban Area had a population of 158,141 in 2011 and includes Doncaster and neighbouring small villages. Part of the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974, Doncaster is about 17 miles north-east of Sheffield, with which it is served by an international airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport in Finningley. Under the Local Government Act 1972, Doncaster was incorporated into a newly created metropolitan borough in 1974, itself incorporated with other nearby boroughs in the 1974 creation of the metropolitan county of South Yorkshire. Inhabited by earlier people, Doncaster grew up at the site of a Roman fort constructed in the 1st century at a crossing of the River Don; the 2nd-century Antonine Itinerary and the early-5th-century Notitia Dignitatum called this fort Danum.
The first section of the road to the Doncaster fort had been constructed since the early 50s, while a route through the north Derbyshire hills was opened in the latter half of the 1st century by Governor Gn. Julius Agricola during the late 70s. Doncaster provided an alternative direct land route between York; the main route between Lincoln and York was Ermine Street, which required parties to break into smaller units to cross the Humber in boats. As this was not always practical, the Romans considered Doncaster to be an important staging post; the Roman road through Doncaster appears on two routes recorded in the Antonine Itinerary. The itinerary include the same section of road between Lincoln and York, list three stations along the route between these two coloniae. Routes 7 and 8 are entitled "the route from York to London". Several areas of known intense archaeological interest have been identified in the town, although many—in particular St Sepulchre Gate—remain hidden under buildings; the Roman fort is believed to have been located on the site, now covered by St George's Minster, next to the River Don.
The Doncaster garrison units are named in the Register produced near the end of Roman rule in Britain: it was the home of the Crispinian Horse named because it was recruited from among the tribes living near Crispiana in Pannonia Superior, but owing to Crispus, son of Constantine the Great, being headquartered there while his father was based in nearby York. The Register names the unit as under the command of the "Duke of the Britons". Doncaster is believed to be the Cair Daun listed as one of the 28 cities of Britain in the 9th-century History of the Britons traditionally attributed to Nennius, it was an Anglo-Saxon burh, during which period it received its present name: "Don-" from the Roman settlement and river and "-caster" from an Old English adaptation of the Latin castra. The settlement was mentioned in the 1003 will of Wulfric Spott. Shortly after the Norman Conquest, Nigel Fossard refortified the town and constructed Conisbrough Castle. By the time of the Domesday Book, Hexthorpe in the wapentake of Strafforth was described as having a church and two mills.
The historian David Hey says. He suggests that the street name Frenchgate indicates that Fossard invited fellow Normans to trade in the town. Doncaster was ceded to Scotland in the Treaty of Durham; as the 13th century approached, Doncaster matured into a busy town. Doncaster had a disastrous fire in 1204, from which it recovered. At the time, buildings were built of wood, open fireplaces were used for cooking and heating. Fire was a constant hazard. In 1248, a charter was granted for Doncaster's market to be held around the Church of St Mary Magdalene, built in Norman times. In the 16th century, the church was adapted for use as the town hall, it was demolished in 1846. Some 750 years on, the market continues to operate, with its busy traders located both under cover, at the 19th-century'Corn Exchange' building and in outside stalls; the Corn Exchange was extensively rebuilt in 1994 after a major fire. During the 14th century, numerous friars arrived in Doncaster who were known for their religious enthusiasm and preaching.
In 1307 the Franciscan friars arrived, Carmelites arrived in the middle of the 14th century. In the Medieval period, other major features of the town included the Hospital of St Nicholas and the leper colony of the Hospital of St James, a moot hall, grammar school, the five-arched stone town bridge, with a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Bridge. By 1334, Doncaster was the wealthiest town in southern Yorkshire and the sixth most important town in Yorkshire as a whole boasting its own banker. By 1379, it was recovering from the Black Death, which had reduced its population to 1,500. In October 1536, the Pilgrimage of Grace ended in Doncaster; this was a rebellion led by the lawyer Robert Aske, who commanded 40,000 people of Yorkshire against Henry VIII in protest about the monarch's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Many of Doncaster's streets are named with the suffix'gate'; the word ` gate' is derived from the old Danish word ` gata,'. During Medieval times, craftsmen or tradesmen with similar skills, tended to live in the same street.
Baxter is an ancient word for baker: Baxtergate was the bakers' street. Historians believe that'Frenchgate' may be n
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they remain in existence but have been renamed cities under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2001; the Local Government Act 1994 re-introduced the term for certain "principal areas" in Wales. Scotland did not have county boroughs but instead counties of cities; these were abolished on 16 May 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time — Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow — were included in this category. There was an additional category of large burgh in the Scottish system, which were responsible for all services apart from police and fire; when county councils were first created in 1889, it was decided that to let them have authority over large towns or cities would be impractical, so any large incorporated place would have the right to be a county borough, thus independent from the administrative county it would otherwise come under.
Some cities and towns were independent counties corporate, most were to become county boroughs. Ten county boroughs were proposed; the Local Government Act 1888 as passed required a population of over 50,000 except in the case of existing counties corporate. This resulted in 61 county boroughs in two in Wales. Several exceptions were allowed for historic towns: Bath and Oxford were all under the 50,000 limit in the 1901 census; some of the smaller counties corporate—Berwick upon Tweed, Lincoln, Poole and Haverfordwest—did not become county boroughs, although Canterbury, with a population under 25,000, did. Various new county boroughs were constituted in the following decades as more boroughs reached the 50,000 minimum and promoted Acts to constitute them county boroughs; the granting of county borough status was the subject of much disagreement between the large municipal boroughs and the county councils. The population limit provided county councils with a disincentive to allow mergers or boundary amendments to districts that would create authorities with large populations, as this would allow them to seek county borough status and remove the tax base from the administrative county.
County boroughs to be constituted in this era were a mixed bag, including some towns that would continue to expand such as Bournemouth and Southend-on-Sea. Other towns such as Burton upon Trent and Dewsbury were not to increase in population much past 50,000. 1913 saw the attempts of Luton and Cambridge to gain county borough status defeated in the House of Commons, despite the approval of the Local Government Board — the removal of Cambridge from Cambridgeshire would have reduced the income of Cambridgeshire County Council by over half. Upon recommendation of a commission chaired by the Earl of Onslow, the population threshold was raised to 75,000 in 1926, by the Local Government Act 1926, which made it much harder to expand boundaries; the threshold was raised to 100,000 by the Local Government Act 1958. The viability of the county borough of Merthyr Tydfil came into question in the 1930s. Due to a decline in the heavy industries of the town, by 1932 more than half the male population was unemployed, resulting in high municipal rates in order to make public assistance payments.
At the same time the population of the borough was lower than when it had been created in 1908. A royal commission was appointed in May 1935 to "investigate whether the existing status of Merthyr Tydfil as a county borough should be continued, if not, what other arrangements should be made"; the commission reported the following November, recommended that Merthyr should revert to the status of a non-county borough, that public assistance should be taken over by central government. In the event county borough status was retained by the town, with the chairman of the Welsh Board of Health appointed as administrative adviser in 1936. After the Second World War the creation of new county boroughs in England and Wales was suspended, pending a local government review. A government white paper published in 1945 stated that "it is expected that there will be a number of Bills for extending or creating county boroughs" and proposed the creation of a boundary commission to bring coordination to local government reform.
The policy in the paper ruled out the creation of new county boroughs in Middlesex "owing to its special problems". The Local Government Boundary Commission was appointed on 26 October 1945, under the chairmanship of Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, delivering its report in 1947; the Commission recommended that towns with a population of 200,000 or more should become one-tier "new counties", with "new county boroughs" having a population of 60,000 - 200,000 being "most-purpose authorities", with the county council of the administrative county providing certain limited services. The report envisaged the creation of 47 two-tiered "new counties", 21 one-tiered "new counties" and 63 "new county boroughs"; the recommendations of the Commission extended to a review of the division of functions between different tiers of local government, thus fell outside its terms of reference, its report was not acted upon. The next attempt at reform was by the Local Government Act 1958, which established the Local Government Commission for England and the Local Government
2012 City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council election
The 2012 City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council election took place on 3 May 2012. The elections took place shortly after the Bradford West by-election, in which the Respect Party's George Galloway pulled off a shock victory against the incumbent Labour Party. Held alongside was a referendum on directly elected mayors; the Labour Party were one seat short of an overall majority following the election, leaving the council in no overall control. Of the Council's 90 seats, 30 were up for election. An asterisk denotes an incumbent. Faisal Khan resigned from the Respect Party along with four other councillors in October 2013 and served as an independent councillor until March 2015 when he rejoined the party. Ruqayyah Collector resigned from the Respect Party along with four other councillors in October 2013 and served as an independent councillor until March 2015 when he rejoined the party. In 2008, Adrian Naylor stood in this ward as a Conservative Party candidate. Mohammad Shabbir resigned from the Respect Party along with four other councillors in October 2013.
He served as an independent councillor until April 2015. Anne Hawkesworth left the Conservative Party in January 2013 and joined The Independents: Adrian Naylor and Chris Greaves. Ian Greenwood had been the Bradford City Council leader prior to the election. Alyas Karmani resigned from the Respect Party along with four other councillors in October 2013 and served as an independent councillor until March 2015 when he rejoined the party. Ishtiaq Ahmed resigned from the Respect Party along with four other councillors in October 2013 and served as an independent councillor until March 2015 when he rejoined the party. 163 ballot papers were rejected, compared to 48 in the 2008 election in this ward. Arshad Hussain stood here as a Conservative Party candidate in 2008, before defecting in 2010 following a race row - his vote change corresponds to the 2008 Labour Party candidate, Sobia Kauser. Mayoral referenda were held in 11 local authorities across England to decide whether to introduce directly elected mayors, as opposed in Bradford to the previous system of Councillors electing a leader of the Council.
Alongside Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham and Wakefield, Bradford voted against directly elected mayors. Only Bristol and Doncaster voted in favour. Vote changes correspond to the 2012 Council election; this was triggered by the resignation of Cllr. Matt Palmer, who had stood for the Conservative Party in this ward in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 council elections, in early October. Bradford local elections
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base; the population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population; the metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000. The city is in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf. Sixty-one per cent of Sheffield's entire area is green space, a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. There are more than 250 parks and gardens in the city, estimated to contain around 4.5 million trees. Sheffield played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, with many significant inventions and technologies developed in the city.
In the 19th century, the city saw a huge expansion of its traditional cutlery trade, when stainless steel and crucible steel were developed locally, fuelling an tenfold increase in the population. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area; the 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield, along with other British cities. Sheffield's gross value added has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber; the city has a long sporting heritage, is home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield F. C. Games between the two professional clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, are known as the Steel City derby; the city is home to the World Snooker Championship and the Sheffield Steelers, the UK's first professional ice hockey team.
The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield is believed to have been inhabited since at least the late Upper Paleolithic, about 12,800 years ago. The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. In the Iron Age the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes, it is this tribe who are thought to have constructed several hill forts around Sheffield. Following the departure of the Romans, the Sheffield area may have been the southern part of the Brittonic kingdom of Elmet, with the rivers Sheaf and Don forming part of the boundary between this kingdom and the kingdom of Mercia. Anglian settlers pushed west from the kingdom of Deira. A Britonnic presence within the Sheffield area is evidenced by two settlements called Wales and Waleswood close to Sheffield; the settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, date from the second half of the first millennium, are of Anglo-Saxon and Danish origin.
In Anglo-Saxon times, the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that Eanred of Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at the hamlet of Dore in 829, a key event in the unification of the kingdom of England under the House of Wessex. After the Norman conquest of England, Sheffield Castle was built to protect the local settlements, a small town developed, the nucleus of the modern city. By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, Sheffield subsequently grew into a small market town. In the 14th century, Sheffield was noted for the production of knives, as mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, by the early 1600s it had become the main centre of cutlery manufacture in England outside London, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. From 1570 to 1584, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor. During the 1740s, a form of the crucible steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than had been possible.
In about the same period, a technique was developed for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating, which became known as Sheffield plate. These innovations spurred Sheffield's growth as an industrial town, but the loss of some important export markets led to a recession in the late 18th and early 19th century; the resulting poor conditions culminated in a cholera epidemic that killed 402 people in 1832. The population of the town grew throughout the 19th century; the Sheffield and Rotherham railway was constructed in 1838. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1842, was granted a city charter in 1893; the influx of people led to demand for better water supplies, a number of new reservoirs were constructed on the outskirts of the town. The collapse of the dam wall of one of these reservoirs in 1864 resulted in the Great Sheffield Flood, which killed 270 people and devastated large parts of the town; the growing population led to the construction of many back-to-back dwellings that, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell in 1937 to write: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World".
The Great Depression hit the city in the 1930s, but as international tensions increased and the Second
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding, was based on the historic boundaries; the lieutenancy at that time included the City of York and as such was named West Riding of the County of York and the County of the City of York. Its boundaries correspond to the present ceremonial counties of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the Craven and Selby districts of North Yorkshire, along with smaller parts in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and, since 1996, the unitary East Riding of Yorkshire; the West Riding encompasses 1,771,562 acres from Sheffield in the south to Sedbergh in the north and from Dunsop Bridge in the west to Adlingfleet in the east. The southern industrial district, considered in the broadest application of the term, extended northward from Sheffield to Skipton and eastward from Sheffield to Doncaster, covering less than one-half of the riding. Within this district were Barnsley, Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Keighley, Morley, Pontefract, Rotherham, Sheffield and Wakefield.
Major centres elsewhere in the riding included Ripon. Within the industrial region, other urban districts included Bingley, Bolton on Dearne, Cleckheaton, Featherstone, Hoyland Nether, Mexborough, Normanton, Rothwell, Shipley, Sowerby Bridge, Swinton, Wath-upon-Dearne and Worsborough. Outside the industrial region were Goole, Ilkley and Selby; the West Riding contained a large rural area to the north including part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The subdivision of Yorkshire into three ridings or "thirds" is of Scandinavian origin; the West Riding was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Unlike most English counties, being so large, was divided first into the three ridings and the city of York; each riding was divided into wapentakes, a division comparable to the hundreds of Southern England and the wards of England's four northern-most historic counties. Within the West Riding of Yorkshire there were ten wapentakes in total, four of which were split into two divisions, those were— Claro, Skyrack and Tickhill and Staincliffe.
The wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley was created with two divisions but was split into two separate wapentakes. A wapentake known as the Ainsty to the west of York, was until the 15th century a wapentake of the West Riding, but since has come under the jurisdiction of the City of York The administrative county was formed in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888, covered the historic West Riding except for the larger urban areas, which were county boroughs with the powers of both a municipal borough and a county council. There were five in number: Bradford, Huddersfield and Sheffield; the City of York was included in the county for lieutenancy purposes. The number of county boroughs increased over the years; the boundaries of existing county boroughs were widened. Beginning in 1898, the West Riding County Council was based at the County Hall in Wakefield, inherited by the West Yorkshire County Council in 1974; the Local Government Act 1888 included the entirety of Todmorden with the West Riding administrative county, in its lieutenancy area.
Other boundary changes in the county included the expansion of the county borough of Sheffield southward in areas in Derbyshire such as Dore. Fingerposts erected in the West Riding. At the top of the post was a roundel in the form of a hollow circle with a horizontal line across the middle, displaying "Yorks W. R.", the name of the fingerpost's location, a grid reference. Other counties, apart from Dorset, did not display a grid reference and did not have a horizontal bar through the roundel. From 1964, many fingerposts were replaced by ones in the modern style, but some of the old style still survive within the West Riding boundaries. By 1971 1,924,853 people lived in the administrative county, against 1,860,435 in the ten county boroughs; the term West Riding is still used in the names of the following clubs, organisations: 33rd Foot, First Yorkshire West Riding Regiment, a re-enactment group based in Halifax who depict this Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars 49 Signal Squadron, a squadron of 34 Signal Regiment based at Carlton Barracks in Leeds 51st Light Infantry, a re-enactment group based in the West Midlands who depict this Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars 106 Field Squadron, a squadron of 72 Engineer Regiment based in Greenhill and Manningham Lane, Bradford 269 Bat
Wakefield is a cathedral city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 99,251 at the 2011 census. The Battle of Wakefield took place in the Wars of the Roses and it was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War. Wakefield became an important market town and centre for wool, exploiting its position on the navigable River Calder to become an inland port. In the 18th century, Wakefield traded in corn, coal mining and textiles and in 1888 its parish church acquired cathedral status, it became the county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire and was the seat of the West Riding County Council from 1889 until 1974, when the county and council were abolished, of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1974 until its dissolution in 1986. The name "Wakefield" may derive from "Waca's field" – the open land belonging to someone named "Waca" or could have evolved from the Old English word wacu, meaning "a watch or wake", feld, an open field in which a wake or festival was held.
In the Domesday Book of 1086, it was written Wachefeld and as Wachefelt. Flint and stone tools and bronze and iron implements have been found at Lee Moor and Lupset in the Wakefield area showing evidence of human activity since prehistoric times; this part of Yorkshire was home to the Brigantes until the Roman occupation in AD 43. A Roman road from Pontefract passing Streethouse, Heath Common, Ossett Street Side, through Kirklees and on to Manchester crossed the River Calder by a ford at Wakefield near the site of Wakefield Bridge. Wakefield was settled by the Angles in the 5th or 6th century and after AD 876 the area was controlled by the Vikings who founded twelve hamlets or thorpes around Wakefield, they divided the area into wapentakes and Wakefield was part of the Wapentake of Agbrigg. The settlement grew near a crossing place on the River Calder around three roads, Westgate and Kirkgate; the "gate" suffix derives from Old Norse gata meaning road and kirk, from kirkja indicates there was a church.
Before 1066 the manor of Wakefield belonged to Edward the Confessor and it passed to William the Conqueror after the Battle of Hastings. After the Conquest Wakefield was a victim of the Harrying of the North in 1069 when William the Conqueror took revenge on the local population for resistance to Norman rule; the settlement was recorded as Wachfeld in the Domesday Book of 1086, covered a much greater area than present day Wakefield, much of, described as "waste". The manor was granted by the crown to William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey whose descendants, the Earls Warenne, inherited it after his death in 1088; the construction of Sandal Castle began early in the 12th century. A second castle was abandoned. Wakefield and its environs formed the caput of an extensive baronial holding by the Warennes that extended to Cheshire and Lancashire; the Warennes, their feudal sublords, held the area until the 14th century, when it passed to their heirs. Norman tenants holding land in the region included the Lyvet family at Lupset.
The Domesday Book recorded one in Wakefield and one in Sandal Magna. The Saxon church in Wakefield was rebuilt in about 1100 in stone in the Norman style and was continually enlarged until 1315 when the central tower collapsed. By 1420 the church was again rebuilt and was extended between 1458 and 1475. In 1203 William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey received a grant for a market in the town. In 1204 King John granted the rights for a fair at the feast of All Saints, 1 November, in 1258 Henry III granted the right for fair on the feast of Saint John the Baptist, 24 June; the market was close to the church. The townsfolk of Wakefield amused themselves in games and sports earning the title "Merrie Wakefield", the chief sport in the 14th century was archery and the butts in Wakefield were at the Ings, near the river. During the Wars of the Roses, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York was killed on 30 December 1460 in the Battle of Wakefield near Sandal Castle; as preparation for the impending invasion by the Spanish Armada in April 1558, 400 men from the wapentake of Morley and Agbrigg were summoned to Bruntcliffe near Morley with their weapons.
Men from Kirkgate, Westgate and Sandal were amongst them and all returned by August. At the time of the Civil War, Wakefield was a Royalist stronghold. An attack led by Sir Thomas Fairfax on 20 May 1643 captured the town for the Parliamentarians. Over 1500 troops were taken prisoner along with Lieutenant-General Goring. In medieval times Wakefield became an inland port on the Calder and centre for the woollen and tanning trades. In 1699 an Act of Parliament was passed creating the Aire and Calder Navigation which provided the town with access to the North Sea; the first Registry of Deeds in the country opened in 1704 and in 1765 Wakefield's cattle market was established and became the one of largest in the north of England. The town was a centre for cloth dealing, with its own piece hall, the Tammy Hall, built in 1766. In the late 1700s Georgian town houses and St John's Church were built to the north of the town centre. Wakefield was dubbed the "Merrie City" in the Middle Ages and in 1538 John Leland described it as, "a quick market town and meately large.
A right honest man shall fare well for 2d. A meal.... There be plenti of se coal in the quarters about Wakefield". At the start of 19th century Wakefield was a wealthy market town and inland port trading in wool and grain; the Aire and Calder and Calder and Hebble Navigations and the Barnsley Canal were instrumental in the development of Wakefield as an