Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Piece Hall

We'll take a break from holiday photos, to return to Yorkshire for a while...

The Piece Hall, a Georgian landmark in nearby Halifax, has just reopened after several years of extensive renovation. Now a Grade 1 listed building, it was originally opened in 1779 as a cloth hall where 'pieces' (30 yard lengths of woollen worsted fabric woven on a handloom) were traded. It originally had 315 small rooms, arranged on three levels around a huge courtyard. Many towns had cloth halls, but this is the only surviving example - and a very splendid one. (The spire behind belongs to the now defunct Square Congregational Church, which is also being renovated and incorporated into the Piece Hall scheme as an arts venue).

Handloom weaving more or less ceased after the Industrial Revolution, when the textile industry moved into mills, and for a while the Piece Hall became a wholesale fruit and vegetable market. In the late 20th century it became a retail centre, with small independent shops operating out of the rooms. It continues in that way now, but the renovation has vastly improved the facilities. The central courtyard has been levelled and paved and will be a wonderful venue for all sorts of cultural and community events designed to attract visitors to Halifax.


  1. I saw something about this on TV and at first, seeing that huge courtyard, thought we were in Venice or Rome! It seems very "Yorkshire" to call a 30 yard length of cloth a "piece" - "Ee, lad, that's nowt but a piece is that. We 'ave much bigger bits than that in Yorkshire!"

  2. What a gorgeous place, Jenny!

  3. The architecture here is beautiful.

  4. It is beautiful. What is it about the second image that recalled Hieronymous Bosch to mind?


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