The site was occupied by the Danes and Saxons; Richard, duke of York, was defeated and slain in the battle of Wakefield in 1460. The Towneley Plays (see miracle play) originated there. Notable buildings are All Saints' Church (mainly 15th cent.), the chantry chapel on the bridge over the Calder (c.1350; restored 1847), and the grammar school (1591). A technical college is also in Wakefield.
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