Old Wakefield was to be found in the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974 when it became part of the new county of West Yorkshire along with other towns and cities including Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds and Halifax. Wakefield featured on sheet 248 of the Ordnance Survey 6″ inch series of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The table below gives a breakdown of the areas covered by the Wakefield area maps. Brief excerpts are also shown from the Kelly’s Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire 1881 to give a flavour and character of the area.
|North West Wakefield||Yorkshire 248 NW||Ossett, Alverthorpe, Flanshaw and Lupset|
|North East Wakefield||Yorkshire 248 NE||Wakefield centre, Warmfield cum Heath, Primrose Hill and Fall Ings|
|South West Wakefield||Yorkshire 248 SW||Horbury, Crigglestone, Netherton and Durkar|
|South East Wakefield||Yorkshire 248 SE||Walton, Sandal Magna and Portbello|
WAKEFIELD is a parliamentary and municipal borough, market town, head of a poor law union and county court district, parish, township and polling place and place of election for the southern division of the Riding, 9 miles south-east from Leeds, 10 north from Barnsley, 24 north from Sheffield, 13 north-east from Huddersfield, 14 south-east from Bradford, 21 from Doncaster, 29 from York and 181 from London, in the lower division of Agbrigg wapentake, rural deanery of Wakefield, archdeaconry of Craven and diocese of Ripon … The town is seated on the navigable river Calder, which communicates, via Goole, with the port of Hull, and is here crossed by a bridge of eight arches. The Great Northern, Midland, Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire, and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Companies have stations in the town. Wakefield is well situated for the purposes of trade, its railway and water communication and supply of coal being excellent.
Wakefield, considered as the shire town of the West Riding, is the site of Her Majesty’s Court of Probate for the Wakefield district, and its central position with respect to the towns of Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Barnsley and Dewsbury, and as a depot for the produce of the agricultural districts, must always render it a place of great importance