At the main Leeds train station, we checked on the Coal Mining Museum which is near Wakefield which is where we were headed. But the museum is quite far outside of Wakefield and again, Sunday service meant that there weren’t many buses headed that way once we arrived in Wakefield.
One of the reasons we wanted to come to this area is that my maternal grandfather’s ancestors were from this area. I had researched enough through various online sources and I knew that my great great grandfather was buried at Outwood Cemetery on the outskirts of Wakefield. So we took the train from Leeds to Outwood, using our West Yorkshire Metro Family Day Rover passes.
There was an old church right across the street from the cemetery, and we started there first. The service had just ended and a lady asked if we wanted help, so she brought us in to speak with the Vicar. He didn’t recognize the name “Bramham” that I was looking for, but did tell us that the church had been built in 1857 and the graveyard across the street had been opened in 1903. I knew that my great great grandfather passed away in 1915. So we headed across the street and Ruth started on one side and me on the other. It only took about 10 minutes and I found it!
I was lucky...quite a few headstones were not legible.
Interestingly, it seems that this particular headstone remembers several people, including a daughter who passed away as recently as 1940. I already had all of the names that are listed on the headstone, but I did gain some dates that I didn’t know. And that was it…we wandered the rest of the cemetery looking for other names that might be recognized, but didn’t come across anything. I had wanted to spend more time here because Wakefield has a lot of geneology resources, but it just didn’t work out that way. And those resources were closed on Sundays.
Wakefield Tourist Info...closed on Sunday!
We took the bus into the city of Wakefield itself. First place we headed was the tourist info place so we could get sorted where everything was. There’s not a lot to see in Wakefield, but we figured they could point us in the right direction. But they can’t point us in that direction on Sunday’s because they’re closed. What? How can the tourist info place be closed on Sundays? Isn’t that when local people on daytrips might come into town looking for something to do? Well you would think so. Totally ridiculous in our minds for the tourist info to be closed on a Sunday. Oh well.
Main part of beautiful Wakefield Cathedral undergoing renovations.
We knew that Wakefield has an impressive main cathedral. In fact, it has the tallest spire in all of Yorkshire, and the fourth tallest in all of England. So we went for a visit. Unfortunately, it’s under a major renovation on the inside, and I could only get one pic of the major interior work going on.
We had brought a lunch with us and sat on one of the many benches in the downtown area. After that, we just wandered around. Besides the coal mining museum I mentioned earlier, there is also a sculpture park that sounded interesting, but it was also pretty far out of town and like I said, Sunday bus schedules are a bit limited.
Wakefield Town Hall. The tower is undergoing renovations here too.
The Wakefield waterfront. Interesting.
We saw a sign pointing to the Wakefield Waterfront. Wakefield has a waterfront? Well sort of. The river does go through town and there are some canal boats there…but not much else to see. However, this is where the new Hepworth Contemporary Art Museum is located. Now, some of you might like opera. That’s fine, but not me so much. And some of you might like rap music. Again, not my thing. And some of you might like modern art. Good for you, but again…not my thing.
But we were exploring, so we thought we’d check it out anyhow.
I have to say, I simply don’t get it.
A room full of art.
Sure, we stood by some of the admirers and listened to the critiques…”ah, look at the contrast here”…that sort of thing. But when we entered the room where the only exhibit was a bunch of bamboo sticks laid out on the floor, all I could say was…”I don’t get it”!
Now, one or two of the pieces were kind of neat. But the best art I saw was outside the gallery and down the road where they are going to turn a bunch of old warehouse buildings into apartments and shops.
These scenes were painted in the wall so that they look like windows. Now this was neat!
Ruth and the chapel on a bridge. This was built in the 1300's!
And so we wandered around some more and came across a chapel built into the middle of a bridge. This was kind of neat too!
But we didn’t find anything else that interested us in Wakefield and decided to take the train back to Leeds and wander around there some more. We had wanted to go to the Olympic Torch celebrations as the torch is passing through Leeds just now, but we were simply too tired!
Back at Leeds, the beautiful St. Johns church. The oldest church in Leeds, built in 1634!
We took the elevator to the top of the Leeds Hilton Doubletree hotel. Just for the view!
And we still have two busy days ahead of us between now and Wednesday when we head for Bristol. Then a busy day and a half in Bristol. We’re due for a vacation I think! Anyhow, we just headed back to our couchsurfing host Isabel’s house. We had only just got back when she came in suggesting we go with her to a curry house with her friend Russ. Curry? Okay!
Today, we’re going out to the village of Keighley where we are looking forward to seeing our friends Glen and Steve! They are the ones who got us into this traveling thing almost five years ago!