Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time

Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time

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Operating as usual

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 29/09/2022

Here we are focused on what East Moor was like back in 1850 using the high resolution textured map.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 24/03/2022

Now that the textured map is complete I thought I’d show some random examples of it at 100% resolution. You can appreciate details like gardens and railway tracks which seem to get lost on more distant images. Note these are from the unlabelled version of the map, so don’t include street names, building names etc.

Here’s a bit of technical stuff. There are two two master textured map documents, one with and one without labels. Each document uncompressed is 12.21GB in size. The resolution is 64,000 by 64,000 pixels. To put that in perspective, if I were to print it out at 300 ppi (pixels per inch) then it would measure approximately 5.4m x 5.4m (17.8ft x 17.8ft)!

Facebook only gives a tiny glimpse of the detail involved with the limited size of its image uploads. In fact it would take 1089 individual images to show the complete map at full resolution.


After working on the line map for over a year, I’ve managed to knock out a textured version of it in just a couple of days. This gives a more lifelike impression of Wakefield in 1850, especially when viewing the original at 100%. I’ll post a few close-up images shortly to illustrate how detailed the map actually is.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 22/03/2022

A few people have asked for a closer-up view of the 1850 map, so I’m posting the following images to give everyone a more in-depth look at the area.

Facebook images have a limited resolution, so I’ve broken it into 16 sections. Be mindful that it’s still nowhere near the full level detail of the original map. That would probably take hundreds of images to do it justice.


With just over a year’s work put into it, I’m pleased to say that the 1850 Wakefield (Line Map) has finally been completed. There’s no time to rest though as I am moving straight onto creating a textured version in super hi-resolution. I expect that to be done in just a couple of days time.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 17/03/2022

Here we see the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1850. The first picture is taken from a textured map I’m currently experimenting with. Then we see the exact same view using the colour vector-map for comparison.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 16/03/2022

Here are some work in progress images of Thornes Park as it looked in 1850.
Now the map is almost complete I’m exploring taking it to another level of realism by adding textures and effects. Using 3D software I’ll be able to model the landscape using topographic data to allow us to get a sense of what the whole area looked like 172 years ago.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 11/03/2022

1850 historical map of Thornes Park’s entrance from Horbury Road along with current day satellite image for comparison. Note the two circles outlined in black and dotted llines in the lower right hand side of the map? When I was putting the map together their was no identification to these marks on any of my reference material. Is it possible that the mound in use today in Thornes Park’s play area actually existed way back in 1850? The larger circle seems to line up with it.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 06/03/2022

The following images show the area around the Darnley estate in 1850 long before any major developments took place, along with current day satellite images for comparison. Note the field boundaries in 1850 and how they influenced the layout of the original estate.

Alverthorpe Beck (now named Ings Beck) is largly unaltered in the 170+ years between images, with only slight diversions to its original course; most notably around the Mill Chase developement which commenced in 2001 following the demolition of Alverthorpe Mills.

Balne Beck has undergone more substainal re-routing over the centuries. Shown on an earlier 1790s map encroaching the area later occupied by the extended House of Correction. This continued several times as the prison grew in size, with the beck being repositioned to flow around it’s western boundary. The beck was also relocted to flow beneath the backstreet in between Marlborough St and Anderson St to where it joins Ings beck at the bottom of Westgate.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 02/03/2022

Wakefield 1850 showing the original short-lived Westgate Train Station on the south side of the road. I’m not aware of any illustrations or photgraphs of what this station looked like. All I know is that by the time the next ordnance survey map was surveyed in 1880-1890 and published in 1894, station access had been relocated to the north side of Westgate. Also note the much narrower bridge in 1850 compared to how it appears today. Again, is anyone aware of images showing the bridge in its original form?

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 28/02/2022

Here are some images to illustrate the typical level of detail the 1850 map displays when zooming in.


I just wanted to give an update to the 1850 Wakefield map. It’s been almost a year since I’ve put anything on Facebook but I’ve made a fair amount of progress on it. As you can probably guess, it’s quite a time intensive project and the built up areas seem to take forever with the level of detail involved. I am determined to see it through to completion though and it’s looking like the end is finally in sight.

Keep an eye out for the close-up modern-day comparison images over the coming days.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 08/03/2021

Westgate end in 1850 and present day. The whole area has been completely transformed between the two time periods. Other than the road layout, I don’t think there’s much remaining unchanged from 1850. You can still compare a partially unchanged Alverthorpe Beck where it reaches Westgate. Interestingly Alverthorpe Road is named Humble Jumble Lane in 1850. I wonder why that was and why it was changed?

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 03/03/2021

The West Riding House of Correction 1850 and present day.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 03/03/2021

The West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum 1850 and Present Day.


The West Riding House of Correction as it appeared in 1850.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 28/02/2021

Here are a few close-up images from the 1850 map I'm working on. It gives a good indication of the level of detail. With it being vector-art I can close in on the original without any pixelisation.

Photos from Wakefield - A Journey Back In Time's post 27/02/2021

I'm in the process of creating a full-detailed accurate map of Wakefield from 1850. So far I'm two weeks into the project and it is coming along nicely. Thought I'd start uploading some progress images for people to see. The plan is to take the finished map and then work back in time by referencing earlier maps that are available. I know there is a detailed 1823 drawing which will be used for the next phase and I'm vaguely aware of another map created sometime around the 1790s.

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