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The Old School

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Friday, 3rd October 2008


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COFFEE BREAK in Wakefield; I sit at Café Olivia in the market hall and sketch Wakefield’s original Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. For over 400 years this building overlooked the market place; now the area is being redeveloped that the new market hall has been relocated behind the school.


The grammar school boys moved in Victorian times to larger premises on Northgate and the old building became the Cathedral School.

Talbot & Falcon

Barbara’s dad, Bill, who lived in Talbot and Falcon Yard, approximately where I’m drawing this from, as a boy, attended and sang in the Cathedral choir.


According the Wakefield Court Rolls, Robert Hode, thought to be the original Robin Hood, lived here before he was outlawed following the Battle of Boroughbridge in March 1322. In the medieval period this area north of the town was known as Bitch Hill because dogs were bred here.


It’s a month or so since we visited the market and we’re sorry to discover that the new food hall has closed due to unforeseen drainage problems so today we missed out on the Asian greengrocers, Polish Deli, the little tapas booth and the Yorkshire specialities stall.