Halifax Piece Hall
The Halifax Piece Hall is a building in the town centre of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, originally built as a sales centre for woollen handloom weavers. It opened on 1 January 1779, with over 300 separate rooms arranged around a central courtyard. The term piece refers to pieces of cloth that were sold. As factories started up in the early nineteenth century the trade in handwoven wool declined and around 1815 the rules were changed to allow the sale of cotton goods.
The Piece Hall is currently closed to the public due to redevelopment work taking place, due to be completed in 2016.
The piece hall was erected by the manufacturers and is a large quadrangular building of freestone occupying an area of ten thousand square yards with a rustic basement story and two upper stories fronted with two interior colonnades which are spacious walks leading to arched rooms where goods in an unfinished state were deposited and exhibited for sale to the merchants every Saturday from ten to twelve o clock. This structure which was completed at an expense of £12,000 and opened on 1 January 1779 unites elegance convenience and security. It contains three hundred and fifteen separate rooms and is proof against fire.
The Piece Hall closed on 16 January 2014 for redevelopment work, which will repair and conserve the building in-keeping with its Grade-I listing, as well as installing new services. A three-storey extension will also be constructed at the south-eastern corner of the building, adjoining the Square Church spire site and Square Chapel.
When the Piece Hall re-opens in Spring 2016, the Piece Hall will be home to the Heritage Interpretation Centre, where you will be able to learn about the history of the building, independent shops, cafés and a newly landscaped courtyard area, which can be used for events, concerts and festivals, as well as being an attractive space for visitors to relax.
In the Community
The Hall is in a central part of Halifax, next door to Woolshops Shopping Centre, outside the bustling Market Street, and is close by to the bus and railway stations.
On the exterior on the Market Street side are a pair of handprints, which, according to folklore, are cursed, as many attempts over the years have failed to eradicate them.
Until the recent closure for renovation, the Piece Hall was home to specialist shops, an art gallery, the Tourist Information Centre and other organisations.
The 1996 film, Brassed Off featured a scene set and filmed on location at The Piece Hall. In the film it is the location of the National Brass Band Championships - Yorkshire Area Qualifying Contest.
Also Maestro Music, once a successful music shop in The Piece Hall (until it closed due to the redevelopment work), had been the setting for a comedy sketch for BBC3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Halifax Piece Hall.|
- Piece Hall web site
- Great Public Squares: An Architect’s Selection, Robert F. Gatje, (Norton), 2010. ISBN 978-0-393-73173-6