Wakefield 2013 – An Autumnal Stroll

Wakefield Autumn 15

Since it was such a nice today, I went on an autumnal stroll around my home city of Wakefield. I decided to take some photos on the way. I always take photos when I am travelling abroad, so I thought I would do the same in my home city.  In some ways autumn is my favourite season due to the colours that it provides so I thought it was an appropriate time for photography.  I tried to include trees in the photographs to capture the spirit of autumn.

The walk started around Wentworth Terrace, then proceeded up St John’s North to St John’s Square.  At St John’s there was a veritable army of people with all kinds of filming equipment as if they were about to film an epic on the scale of Ben Hur.  Of course, it might have just been a film class from the nearby college!  Nevertheless they had laid what looked like railway tracks for a moving camera, or was it part of the new HS2 rail link! 😉

Wentworth Terrace
Wakefield Autumn 6

St John’s North
Wakefield Autumn 11

St John’s Church
Wakefield Autumn 2

St John’s Square
Wakefield Autumn 5

Newstead Road
Wakefield Autumn 19

My walk then proceeded into Wakefield’s civic quarter with its County Hall that harks back to the time when Wakefield was the capital of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and its Town Hall.

County Hall 1
Wakefield Autumn 13

County Hall 2
Wakefield Autumn 3

Town Hall 1
Wakefield Autumn 21

Town Hall 2
Wakefield Autumn 4

I went down Wood Street and turned right into Westgate, then right into Drury Lane and then left into the shiny new Merchant Gate development, and then to the Unitarian Chapel and nearby Orangery.

Town Hall Tower through the trees at Drury Lane.
Wakefield Autumn 20

Merchant Gate
Wakefield Autumn 17

I got talking to an interesting chap, while I took the following photograph of the Unitarian Chapel, who told me some stuff that I did not know.   He gave me some background about this old building that was constructed in 1752.  Apparently, the nearby Orangery once belonged to the Unitarian Church and was joined to the Church by an underground tunnel that has since been blocked up.  He went onto mention that there are catacombs under the chapel, where the great and good of old Wakefield were buried.  I never previously thought that Wakefield could perhaps claim the right to a future episode in the series Cities of the Underworld.  I walked on thinking about what exactly Unitarian Church meant…

Westgate Unitarian Chapel
Wakefield Autumn 1

The Orangery
Wakefield Autumn 7

The next photo stop on my stroll was the ancient cathedral which has its origins go in Anglo Saxon times.

Cathedral Precinct
Wakefield Autumn 14

Cathedral 1
Wakefield Autumn 16

Cathedral 2
Wakefield Autumn 12

My last photo stop and the end of my walk was the market – the new market house visible in the picture below.

Wakefield Market
Wakefield Autumn 18

When I got home I did some research about the Unitarian Church via the website of the Westgate Chapel. It seems to be a church that very much reflects my own deist beliefs. The following quote on the Westgate Chapel website summarises my own position on religious matters rather well:

“We believe that faith should be free from the constraints imposed by others. We believe that no one should dictate what another person may or may not believe.”

I will have to investigate unitarian philosophy further…


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