Wakefield Court Rolls Series
The Wakefield court rolls are one of the treasures of our archive collections and have been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
The manor of Wakefield was of exceptional size, covering 150 square miles in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It included lowland arable land in and around Wakefield itself, and less prosperous upland areas in the Holme and Calder valleys. The manorial records in YAHS's archives collection cover land transactions and court proceedings from the late thirteenth century to the 1920s. They are truly exceptional.
This map, made by John Speed and published c.1620, shows the area covered by the Manor and its surroundings.
Parts of the court rolls have been transcribed and published, starting in 1891. Several rolls were published in the YAHS Record Series, between 1901 and 1945. These are now available as Cambridge University Press reprints
In 1974 the Society launched a new Wakefield Court Rolls series. The rolls are translated from Latin to English, and their contents summarised in calendar form rather than a word-for-word transcription. With an explanatory introduction and an index of persons, places and other topics, they are thus a valuable source for all researchers, including local and family historians.
Nineteen volumes have been published since 1977. Those in print can be bought through the Society's bookseller Jeremy Mills.
Early volumes have been digitised and are available online.
The WCR series general editor, Dr Brian Barber, provides background on the Wakefield court rolls, the archive and publications, in a downloadable document. New volumes continue to be published, approximately every two years.
Support the Wakefield Court Rolls project
New volumes continue to be published, approximately every two years.
- If you are interested in editing a Court Roll for publication please contact the General Editor.
- Regular subscriptions are essential and most welcome to support continued publication.