From its status as a major coal mining centre in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and today the home of the National Coal Mining Museum at Caphouse Colliery that retains England's last deep coal mine, to its current role as the capital of Yorkshire's so-called `Rhubarb Triangle', Wakefield has a proud and distinctive identity. This extraordinary history is embodied in the buildings that have shaped the town.
Wakefield in 50 Buildings explores the history of this rich and vibrant community through a selection of its greatest architectural treasures, from the early medieval Grade I-listed parish church, which became a cathedral in 1880, to the acclaimed Hepworth Wakefield art gallery, which opened in 2011. Author and architectural historian Peter Thornborrow and photographer Paul Gwilliam celebrate Wakefield's architectural heritage in a new and accessible way as they guide the reader around the town's historic and modern buildings.
After a career in teaching, Peter Thornborrow was appointed Calderdale's Architectural Historian in 1982, and in 1984 an Inspector for Historic Buildings undertaking the national re-survey for listed buildings for the DOE of most of West Yorkshire before becoming the Senior Historic Buildings Officer for the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service (WYAS) for a long number of years. In 2004 he was appointed the Conservation and Urban Design Officer for Rotherham MBC until his retirement in December 2010. He is currently Chairman of the Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group (YVBSG). Paul Gwilliam graduated from Exeter College of Art and Design in the early 1980 with a Degree in Photography. He moved to Sheffield, where he spent a year documenting the changing face of the cities parkland. then spent the next 30 years as a photographer and historic buildings specialist, contributing to many academic and popular publications. Since retiring he has taken on a role of an independent historic building consultant and has just completed his MSc in Historic Building Conservation.