The bishop's residence was Bishop's Lodge, Wakefield. The office existed from the founding of the diocese in 1888 under Queen Victoria until its dissolution on 20 April 2014. The cathedral contains a memorial to Bishop Walsham How, the Bishop of Wakefield. The last diocesan bishop of Wakefield was the Right Reverend Stephen Platten, the 12th Bishop of Wakefield, who signed +Stephen Wakefield and was in post when his diocese was dissolved.
Upon the creation of the Diocese of Leeds on 20 April 2014, the see was dissolved and its territory added to the new diocese, within which the suffragan see of Pontefract will be renamed for the Area Bishop of Wakefield. As well as being the area bishop for the Wakefield episcopal area, the bishop is also the provincial episcopal visitor (or "flying bishop") for the Diocese of Leeds as a whole, administering to those parishes in the diocese which cannot in good conscience accept the ordination of women as priests and bishops.