City of Wakefield, is a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire. The district is mainly made out of old coal-mining towns, although other industries include chemicals, machine tools, glass and other forms of manufacturing. When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 there were 21 pits. By the time the 1984 Strike began this had decreased to 15. At the time of privatisation in November 1994, only two remained.
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Today's theatre was designed in 1894 as the Wakefield Opera House, by theatre architect Frank Matcham, and was built for a price of £13,000. In the 1920s the theatre had to compete against cinemas and in the summer live shows were replaced by films. In 1954 the theatre closed and became a picture house, and a few years later, a bingo hall. However, in 1981 it reopened as the Wakefield Theatre Royal.
The spire of Wakefield Cathedral, at a height of approximately 247 feet, is the tallest church in Yorkshire. It is built on the site of a Saxon church, evidence of which was uncovered in 1900 when extensions to the east end were made.
Hepworth is an art gallery that takes its name from artist
and sculptor Barbara Hepworth who was born and educated in the city.
Its windows have views of the river, historic waterfront and the
city skyline. The gallery has ground-floor visitor facilities,
including a café and restaurant overlooking the river. The building
is composed of ten trapezoidal blocks; its upper-level galleries are
lit by natural light from large windows in the pitched roofs.Pretty
Museum gives the history of the city of Wakefield and the
local area from prehistoric times onwards. The museum covers the
story of Wakefield, looking at the Manor of Wakefield in the Tudor
period, HM Prison Wakefield, Wakefield as the West Yorkshire Police
Headquarters, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, The Battle of Wakefield,
Wakefield's writers and theatres and more.
Sandal Castle is a ruined medieval castle in Sandal Magna, a suburb of the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, overlooking the River Calder. It was the site of royal intrigue and the setting for the opening scene of one of William Shakespeare's plays. Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 3 (Act 1, Scene 2) is set in Sandal Castle. It describes Richard's sons urging him to take the crown before news is brought of Margaret's approach. Act 1, scene 4 then depicts the death of Richard at the Queen's hands. The play is sometimes performed on the castle ruins.