Walton, Wakefield.
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Walton is a village and civil parish in Wakefield, West Yorkshire; it is situated on the Barnsley Canal and includes Walton Hall; although a fairly large village in its own right, it has almost become one large village with nearby Sandal.

Walton Hall is a stately home that was built in the Palladian style around 1767 on an island within a 26 acre (105,000 m²) lake, on the site of a former moated medieval hall; it was the ancestral home of the naturalist and traveller Charles Waterton, who made Walton Hall into the world's first wildfowl and nature reserve.

Walton Hall with his residence at Cawthorne, was home to the Old English Chieftein Ailric the ancestor of Charles Waterton, who is mentioned in the Domesday Book and was the Kings Thane for South Yorkshire; the day the Normans first came to Yorkshire, Ailric was at Walton Hall and was alerted by a man on horseback that they were coming in force; he hastily amassed his retainers and they on horseback ambushed the mounted Norman knights of Ilbert de Laci, who were moving on the road from Tanshelf to Wakefield; however, the better armoured knights of Ilbert de Laci were able to drive off this attack.

For nearly three years Ailric was able to maintain a guerrilla war out of his estates in the west of South Yorkshire, until Ilbert was forced to come to an accommodation with him whereby Ailric would communicate with the local people and Ilbert would grant him back, many of his former estates, including Walton Hall.

Walton Hall is now part of the Waterton Park Hotel.



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