Edwin Hirst and his paintings

SPREAD over seven years, Edwin Hirst, supported by his wife Kathleen, has produced four books based on his paintings of Wakefield landmarks, past and present.

Edwin, who now lives in Chester, was once a member of Sandal parochial church council and he comes from a family of Wakefield corn merchants whose story goes back to the 18th century.

His grandfather, Edwin Lodge Hirst, became mayor of Wakefield in 1912. Edwin and his father, John, continued in the corn trade and both served on Wakefield City Council. When he retired from the business, Edwin became fundraiser for Wakefield Hospice and also raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

His books, based on his own love of community and local history, have proved very popular. He and retired teacher Kathleen have given four illustrated talks at Sandal Community Association cheese and wine evenings. They are pictured above with the then Association chair, Gail Stephenson (left).

Edwin’s paintings include a number of Sandal buildings and we are grateful for his permission to reproduce them here.

His books, which are still available, are:

Sandal Castle, Old Hall and Houses in and around Wakefield (2003)

The foreword to this first volume is ‘The Rise and Fall of Wakefield’ with paintings and stories about thirteen old halls, including Sandal Castle, which are no more and fifteen which are still occupied. Five houses are still in use and three, including the Six Chimneys, which are gone.

Some Interesting Buildings in and around Wakefield (2008)

In this book begins with an introduction entitled ‘Wakefield’s Changing Fortunes’. There are thirty coloured prints and stories about ten important buildings which were in Wakefield, twelve of which are still here but not used for their for their original purposes, plus eight further buildings which are still in use, including the Town Hall and County Hall.

Churches, Chapels and Schools in and around Wakefield (2009)

This book is in two parts and there are paintings and anecdotes about twenty-five religious builings, including the cathedral. There is then the ‘Background to Education in Wakefield’ with paintings and stories about ten schools, including Wakefield grammar schools.

Some of Wakefield’s Public Houses (2010)

With an introduction ‘Changing Times of the Public House’, this volume has pictures and anecdotes relating to thirty-one Wakefield pubs dating from 1600 to  2009.

To obtain copies of any of these, call Edwin on 01244 319 376

The following provides a key to the page containing a selection of Edwin's paintings

The Castle Inn on Barnsley Road, once  known as the Cross Keys Chevet Hall Reapers’ Gate when it still had its statues. Chevet Hall Stables are now quality modern homes.
Now a row of cottages, this was once the Cock and Bottle Inn. Another view of the Cock and Bottle on Manygates Lane. Kettlethorpe Hall was built by George and Ann Norton in 1727.
The Pledwick Well Inn on Barnsley Road, built in 1834. Sandal Endowed School is the oldest still in use in Wakefield. Sandal Hall is now part of a housing complex.


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