The Piece Hall, The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, HX1 1RE – Visit Now
The Piece Hall is a monumental Grade I listed structure that is the embodiment of Halifax’s impressive Georgian heritage, and played a vital role at the centre of the world’s booming woollen trade in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Following a long-held dream and a multi-million pound transformation project, The Piece Hall reopened in 2017 with a mix of independent shops, cafes and bars, special heritage spaces, art gallery and a world-class events programme of music, dance, film, visual art and spectacle for up to 7,500 people at a time.
Almost 250 years since it first threw its doors open to be the first place of its kind – a progressive fusion of business , community and culture – The Piece Hall is celebrating being back at the beating heart of this historic town.
Built with staggering ambition for the trading of “pieces” of woven woollen cloth, it is one of the country’s most exceptional Georgian buildings and the only surviving example of the remarkable pre-industrial revolution northern cloth halls that were so vital to England’s wealth.
The expansive, landscaped open-air courtyard is not to be missed. Think Somerset House meets one of the great historic squares of Europe for the North.
We love that the ambition of the cultural programme celebrates this incredibly special place which was renowned for the most remarkable cultural spectacles of the time. Its original opening day in 1779 featured a major procession of marching bands and firework display “by the celebrated Signor Pietro consisting of a beautiful Egyptian pyramid illuminated with spiral wheels, globes and vertical wheels to be set on fire by a pigeon!”. A huge crowd gathered to witness one of the earliest hot air balloon flights here too in 1824.
250 years on, The Piece Hall’s line up and programming is heaven for those who don’t want to feel restrained by more conventional arts experiences. Outside, in a dream space like this – anything goes dipping in and out of encounters and shows as you like and often having the most memorable experiences from something you chance upon.
For families it’s a winner especially in the summer with the safe, large, stunning courtyard with space to bomb around, magical colonnaded galleries to wind through, steps to leap off, water to splash in and world class arts experiences to absorb at the same time.