The Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, Wakefield Bridge
The Chantry was built in the mid 14 century as an integral part of the then-new stone bridge across the River Calder. It was financed by Wakefield townspeople as a place for the saying of masses for the souls of the dead and was first licensed in 1356. Following the Dissolution of the Chantries in 1545, it fell into secular hands for almost 300 years. It was recovered for the Church of England in the 1840s by the Yorkshire Architectural Society and its upper part was rebuilt to the neo-gothic design of George Gilbert Scott. When it reopened at Easter 1848 it served as a temporary parish church for the newly designated ecclesiastical district of St Mary. Slum clearance in the 1950s led to the bringing together of St Mary’s parish with the neighbouring St Andrew’s, the Chantry remaining in the care of the united benefice until an Order in Council at the Millennium brought it into care of the Dean and Chapter of Wakefield Cathedral.
There is an active Friends Group which takes responsibility for maintaining the fabric of the Chapel. The interior has been recently refurbished, and the Chapel is now used for a monthly Sunday Eucharist , Missa - Saturdays as advertised, plus a goodly number of other services, concerts and events