Our Heritage, Our Stories

Our heritage connects us to our past, preserving traditions, stories, and cultural legacies that shape our identities. Understanding our heritage helps us create a bridge between the past and the future, allowing us to pass down invaluable knowledge, traditions, and a deeper sense of belonging to future generations, ensuring that our collective history endures.

Our Stories will work with communities to collect and share their stories, capturing and re-imagining the heritage of our district as told by local people, creating a unique portrait of our district for future generations that will help inform the development of a new Wakefield Library and Museum, celebrating the rich history of the district.

During Our Year – Wakefield District 2024, Our Heritage, Our Stories will look back at the districts links to mining, textiles, built heritage and performance.

Throughout 2024 we will also be celebrating and shouting about all of the fantastic heritage sites, events and trails in our district!


Wakefield is well known for its textile industries. It has proud heritage of wool selling, going back to medieval times. In the 1700s and 1800s, Wakefield had a strong textile manufacturing sector with companies dealing in raw wool, spinning yarn, weaving cloth and producing reclaimed wool known as ‘shoddy’.

Emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, Double TWO Shirts began to literally change the fabric of men’s fashion. They created the world’s first shirt made entirely from synthetic fibres and they’ve gone from strength to strength ever since.

This June, Our Year is celebrating the district’s textile heritage with a series of exhibitions and events.


Find Out More about the history of Double Two

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During March we celebrated our mining heritage with a series of events and activities. As 2024 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, it’s an interesting and important time to reflect upon the impact of our coal mining heritage in Wakefield.

The National Coal Mining Museum for England’s latest exhibition 84/85 – The Longest Year showcases a powerful first-hand account of the impact of the period on the men, their families and communities across England.

Find out more

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