Battle of Wakefield memorial walk led by Bishop of Wakefield

The Bishop of Wakefield led a procession and prayers at sites across the city to honour Richard, Duke of York and remember Wakefield’s role in the Battle of the Roses at the weekend.

The Battle of Wakefield Memorial Walk was organised by the Re-Enactors group, the Harrington Household and the Frie Compagne to mark the anniversary of the event on Saturday December 30 and bring the story alive.

The historic battle of Wakefield was fought on a cold wintry day at Sandal Castle on December 30, 1460. Richard, Duke of York was killed in the conflict when his Yorkist army of around 5,000 men faced King Henry VI’s opposing Lancastrian force of 15,000 men. The poor skills demonstrated in the battle was said to have inspired the children's nursery rhyme, the Grand old Duke of York.

Pic right: Sharon and Lee Whitaker and family, of the Harrington Household Re-enactment Group at Sandal Castle.

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson said: “The Battle of Wakefield was a key moment in the War of the Roses and this is an opportunity to commemorate that event but also to think and pray for all those involved in conflict on the world stage today.”

The event was supported by the Friends of Sandal Castle and Dr Keith Souter, who chairs that group said: 

Sandal Castle dates back to the Norman Conquest and played an important role in the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War. 

Great battlefields, like the one that took place around Sandal Castle six centuries ago teach us about past power struggles that played a part in shaping our country. 

“It is important that we remember the people who lived and died for the causes they believed in. If we can learn from them, then so much the better.

The first stop for the Memorial Walk was the Chantry Chapel where Bishop Tony said prayers and laid a posy of white roses at the plaque of Edmond, Earl of Rutland. It then continued along Barnsley Road to Manygates to lay a wreath of white roses and say prayers at the site of the memorial to Richard III, Duke of York.

It ended at Sandal Castle where the Re-enactors marched up the hill and down again -  before the Bishop laid a wreath of red and white roses and led a short service of remembrance, where 557 years ago on this day, the Battle of Wakefield made the history books for its role in the English Civil War.

Picture left, courtesy of the Yorkshire Post.



Scroll to Top