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Wakefield (Derivation: OE; open land where wakes are held) is a city and county town of West Yorkshire; it was formerly county town of the West Riding. It was a prominent medieval market centre and developed into the commercial centre of a coal-mining region; it is also a cathedral city and the cathedral spire is the tallest church spire in Yorkshire. Wakefield also possesses one of the few surviving bridge chapels in England.

It was outside Wakefield that a battle for control of the north of England was fought at the very end of 1460 during the Wars of the Roses between forces led by the Lancastrian Henry Beaufort and Richard, 3rd Duke of York, who was claiming the throne of Henry VI. Richard was defeated and killed in the battle.

Also, in May 1643, during the English Civil War , a battle was fought in which the Parliamentarian, Sir Thomas Fairfax defeated Royalist forces and captured Wakefield.

Wakefield Trinity ('Wakefield Wildcats') are a major Rugby League team. The Wakefield district is famous for its rhubarb.