Friday, 18 March 2022

The Piece Hall, Halifax, December 2013.

The Piece Hall in Halifax is the last remaining cloth hall in the United Kingdom, built as a place for trading pieces of cloth the hall has seen many changes during it's long history, including a recent multi million pound refurbishment to turn the hall in to a modern multi purpose leisure and shopping destination. And to think in 1972 people on the local authority wanted to demolish the building. Below are a number of pictures i took with my Samsung Galaxy Tablet on December 1 2013. This was prior to the Piece Hall's transformation.

The North Gate, this and the South Gate were the original entrances
to the Hall, the West Gate being added in 1785 and the east Gate during the
hall's recent refurbishment.

The former cobbled courtyard, with the spire of Square Church visible.
The hall has offered a number of concerts since re-opening, the stage in it's 
pre refurbishment history offered token entertainment.

The Piece Hall was opened on the 1st January 1779 as a place for people to trade cloth they had produced. As the cloth industry became larger and more industrialised the hall saw a decline in traders and was purchased by the Halifax Corporation in 1868 with conversion to a wholesale market following soon after. This is how the remained until 1971 when the wholesale market was dispersed and demolition of the hall was considered. Over the following years the hall underwent a refurbishment and was reopened as a tourist destination on the 3rd July 1976 including shops, museum and an art gallery. There was also an open air market added during this era before once again declining visitor numbers had the now Calderdale Council considering the best way forward for the building. A plan was put together with funding from various sources to refurbish the hall and it closed to the public on the 16th January 2014 to undergo a 3 year long refurb. The hall was reopened on the 1st August 2017 (Yorkshire Day) and provides restaurants, bars, shops and live entertainment including music concerts and has been the starting point for the Tour de Yorkshire.

Granted Grade I listed status on the 3rd November 1954, the reasons given for this were as follows

Historic interest
Rarity. It is the only remaining cloth hall in Yorkshire
Architectural interest
Architectural layout.

The hall is overlooked by Beacon Hill and the Square Church spire, which is all that remains of the church damaged by fire and partially demolished in the 1970's. The spire now forms part of the recently opened Halifax Central Library.

The hall also has a couple of supernatural stories linked with it, don't all old buildings. One of the units in the south west corner of the hall is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl known as Amy. The TV show Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns also broadcast from the hall in March 2006. In a segment of the show broadcast from the cellars at the hall, he claimed to have made contact with spirits known as Mary and another one known as Joseph. Another story from the hall is of the Hand Prints. Many local legends spring from these, at the westgate entrance to the hall are a pair of hand prints on the wall, sadly although still visible not as much as they once were. A couple of the more popular theories are that a local with was responsible for the prints, or the more well known story is that they were put there by a murderer as he was making his escape.

I took the above from my previous post about the hall dated October 19 2019, below are more pictured from December 2013.

The halls balcony areas featured a number of shops in 2013, today
there are still a number shops, eateries and bars surrounding the
courtyard. This was the western area of the hall.

Looking across the then cobbled courtyard towards the south
western corner.

The west gate entrance to the hall, this was added in 1785.

The south eastern corner of the hall, the South Gate seen in the
middle of the picture, this is often used as the halls main access
point, the bridge raises up to allow larger vehicle entry.

The balcony area that surrounds the courtyard, this was taken from the
south eastern corner looking west. 

Artwork in one of the halls corner stairwells.

The north western corner of the Piece Hall.

Looking north east across the cobbled courtyard. The north gate
was once considered the halls main entrance, this was changed
in 1785 when the west gate opened.

The halls north gate seen across the courtyard.


The Piece Hall's South Gate, the hall and area around the gate was
recently filmed as part of a Marvel's Secret Invasion production, doubling as an
Eastern European Country

One of the halls corner stairwells.

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All the pictures remain the copyright of Colin Green.