The History of the parish of Sandal Magna
West Yorkshire, England




Medieval Sandal


Medieval Descriptions of Sandal

Sandala: King’s land. Church. In Sandal, six carucates; in Walton, 8 carucates. Before 1066, held by King Edward the Confessor.

The Charge of Sandal: The whole village of Sandal maketh oath acknowledging that Lord John Count de Warrene holds the castle of Sandal and therewith, or receives of our Lord the King the whole Soke of Wakefield. There is belonging to the said castle a certain enclosed parcel of land of which he takes thirty acres of pasture for his deer, be the same more or less, which is worth 15s. per annum (or 6d. per acre), and the herbage belonging to the said inclosure, with the moat (or foss) of the said castle is yearly worth 6s. 8d. There is a garden with two granges which are yearly worth in herbage 10s. A pasture (supalis de Turneng) is worth yearly 6d. There are three rods of land in a certain croft which is yearly 12d. There are also in the field 6a. 1r. of meadow yearly worth 31s. 3d. or 5s. per acre. There is a stew or small fish pond being of no value because the fishes die in it.

Master Waterton, a man of fair lands hath a praity Manor House in Sandon Paroch. The chief Church of Sandon is appropriate to St. Stephance’s College at Westminster. At the est ende of this village is a praity Castelet on a hilling ground with a Diche aboute it. It longid to Warine Earl of Surrey: now to the King.

Sandal in medieval times would have been a small community centred on the church of St. Helen. It was dominated and protected by Sandal Castle. Fields and dense woodland surrounded the village.


The Battle of Wakefield

This was the most important event in the whole of Sandal’s story – one that changed the course of English history. The Wars of the Roses stemmed from a dispute between rival claimants for the throne. Richard, Duke of York was the principal opponent of the Lancastrian Henry VI. On 30th December 1460, in a blinding snowstorm, a battle was fought around Wakefield Green. The Yorkists, emerging from Sandal castle and finding themselves heavily outnumbered, were quickly defeated and the Duke of York killed by Lord Clifford One of his sons, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, fled the field, but was caught and killed by Clifford in the vicinity of Wakefield Bridge.


Sandal Church


The Developing Parish

Sandal in the 17th & 18th centuries



Victorian and Edwardian Sandal

Census figures -

Sandal Magna: in 1801: 765; in 1901: 6,843

Walton: in 1801: 315; in 1901: 745

Crigglestone: in 1801: 1,216; in 1901: 3,246


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© Angela Petyt 1998-2001. All rights reserved.