The Piece Hall
Originally the smaller Cloth Hall, The Piece Hall was opened on 1st January 1779 as a place for hand loom weavers to sell their pieces of cloth. Halifax is a wool town and a variety of the cloths were made from wool. Leeds, Huddersfield and Bradford all had Cloth Halls of which none have survived. The trade at the Piece Hall, also then known as the Manufactures' Hall, declined in the 19th Century and cotton cloth was permitted to be sold in attempt to boost trade.
The building eventually became a wholesale fish, game, fruit and vegetable market with the top floor of the building disused. At this time it was officially named the Market Hall but it also continued to be known as the Piece Hall.
In 1928 the Piece Hall was officially recognised as a historical monument and the future of the building highly debated. In 1972 the decision was made to restore the building. Market traders were moved to other premises and the 300 shop units in the Piece Hall converted to over 50 larger shops. In 1976 the renovated Piece Hall was reopened.
Currently the Piece Hall houses a range of shops, studios, cafés and the Art Gallery and Visitor Information Centre. Various events are hosted at the Piece Hall courtyard as well as the popular annual ice rink. But several shop units now stand empty with lack of trade and its future continues to be debated.
The Piece Hall is a Grade 1 listed building. It is a large rectangular stone structure of approximately 100 metres in length, and 83 metres in breadth with an interior cobblestone courtyard. It has 3 storeys of shop units with balconies overlooking the courtyard. There are 3 entrances; north Woolshops entrance, south Cross Street / Horton Street entrance and west Westgate entrance. A lift to all floors is situated in the south-east corner and there are public toilets including disabled toilets situated at the north side.
The Piece Hall is situated in the centre of Halifax, West Yorkshire, between Manchester and Leeds and is at the heart of the Calderdale borough. The building is just minutes walk from both Halifax train and bus stations. It is also within walking distance from local attractions Eureka!, Square Chapel, Victoria Theatre and Dean Clough.