Wakefield is a cathedral city in the City of Wakefield district of West Yorkshire, England. The city is on the River Calder and the Pennines eastern edge.
The Battle of Wakefield took place in the Wars of the Roses and it was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War. Wakefield became an important market town and centre for wool, exploiting its position on the navigable River Calder to become an inland port.
In the 18th century, Wakefield traded in corn, coal mining and textiles and in 1888 its parish church acquired cathedral status. It became the county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire and was the seat of the West Riding County Council from 1889 until 1974, when the county and council were abolished, and of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1974 until its dissolution in 1986.
The city had a population of 99,251 in the 2011 census. It is part of the West Yorkshire Built-up Area and the Yorkshire and The Humber region. The district borough, governed from the city, had a mid-2019 est. population of 348,312, the 21st most populous district in England.