The Piece Hall, The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, HX1 1RE – Visit Now
One of the most extraordinary buildings in Britain, the Grade I listed Piece Hall, Halifax offers a rich history, stunning architecture and a heady blend of culture.
Dating back to 1779, this monumental building embodies Halifax’s impressive Georgian heritage, and played a pivotal role at the centre of the world’s booming woollen trade in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Back then, it was the first place of its kind – a progressive fusion of business, community and culture. Now, almost 250 years on, The Piece Hall still remains at the beating heart of this historic Yorkshire town.
In 2017, the building reopened following a multi-million pound transformation. A beautiful 21st Century town square, The Piece Hall is a place for everyone to enjoy. The great, open square is surrounded by a vibrant mix of independent shops, cafes and bars. A place for people to meet and connect, Halifax’s unique history is told in specially created heritage spaces and of course, in The Yorkshire Gallery – small but perfectly formed – which hosts exhibitions by artists and makers linked to Yorkshire. A magnetic cultural destination, The Piece Hall also boasts a world-class events programme of music, dance, film, and visual art for upto 7500 people at a time.
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.
Built with staggering ambition for the trading of ‘pieces’ of woven woollen cloth, The Piece Hall 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.
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.
A quarter of a millennium 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.
From the very beginning, The Piece Hall has offered a fascinating combination of business and culture to enrich the lives and values of its surrounding community. And it’s this unique alchemy of purpose and idealism, commerce, arts and people, which makes it the pièce de résistance of this gutsy Yorkshire town.