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Halifax Town Hall

Halifax is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, in West Yorkshire, England, with a population of around 90,000 in 2021. It is well known as a centre of England's woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, which dealt through the Halifax Piece Hall. It is internationally famous for its Mackintosh chocolate and toffee (now owned by Nestlé), the Halifax Bank, Halifax RLFC, The Gibbet and Shibden Hall.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

Halifax Parish Church, parts of which go back to the 12th century, has always been dedicated to St John the Baptist. The church's first organist, in 1765, was William Herschel, who went on to discover the planet Uranus.The coat of arms of Halifax include the chequers from the original coat of arms of the Earls Warenne, who held the town during Norman times. Halifax was also notorious for the 'Halifax Gibbet', an early form of the guillotine used to execute criminals by decapitation, it was last used in 1650. A replica of the gibbet has been erected on the original site in Gibbet Street. The original gibbet blade is on display at Bankfield Museum, Halifax. Punishment in Halifax was notoriously harsh, as remembered in the Beggar's Litany by John Taylor (1580–1654), a prayer whose text included "From Hull, from Halifax, from Hell, ‘tis thus, From all these three, Good Lord deliver us." Daniel Defoe was also famous resident of Halifax.

Economy[edit]

A branch of the Halifax Bank in Halifax

As well as the significance of the Halifax Building Society (which merged with the Bank of Scotland in 2001), the town has associations with confectionery. John Mackintosh and his wife, Violet, opened a toffee shop in King Cross Lane in 1890. Violet formulated the toffee's recipe. John became known as 'The Toffee King'. A factory was opened on Queens Road in 1898. A new factory at Albion Mill, at the current site near the railway station, opened in 1909. John died in 1920, and his son Harold continued the business and took it to the present size and range of confectionery it has today. Their famous brands, including Rolo, Toffee Crisp and Quality Street of chocolate and confectionery are popular in the UK, and around the world. It was merged with Rowntree in 1969, which was then bought by Nestlé in 1988.

Halifax was a busy heavy industrial town dealing in and producing wool, carpets, machine tools, and beer. The Crossley family began carpet manufacture in modest premises at Dean Clough, on the banks of the Hebble Brook. The family was philanthropic and Joseph and Sir Francis Crossley built and endowed Almshouses for their workers, which exist to this day and are run by volunteer trustees.

Get in[edit]

Halifax is in the south-eastern corner of the moorland region called the South Pennines. Halifax is about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the M62 motorway close to Bradford, Huddersfield and Rochdale.

By plane[edit]

  • Leeds/Bradford International Airport (LBA IATA). This is the nearest airport, by road. It can be reached by taking a train to Leeds and then a bus to the airport departing from the train station. The number of flights from Leeds Bradford airport continues to increase.
  • Manchester Airport (MAN IATA). This airport is the easiest and quickest to access. It is the UK's busiest airport, outside London, with many European and inter-continental flights. There is a rail station within the airport complex, with services running through Huddersfield to Newcastle, at least half-hourly throughout the day (see by train below).

By train[edit]

1 Halifax railway station is on the Caldervale Line, with links to Manchester Victoria, York via Bradford and Leeds, Blackpool North and via Brighouse to Huddersfield and Wakefield Westgate. All services are operated by Northern.

By car[edit]

Halifax is well served by the M62. Junction 24 is the best and fastest way to reach Halifax from the M62

Get around[edit]

Map
Map of Halifax (England)

First Calderdale & Huddersfield operate most bus services in Halifax, while Arriva operate services that link Halifax with Dewsbury and Wakefield. Halifax is well connected to Huddersfield and the nearby cities of Bradford and Leeds with the First services 503, 508 and 576, serving these destinations every 10–20 minutes during Monday to Saturday daytimes. First also run services into other counties, including 528 to Rochdale via Ripponden and Littleborough, 590 to Rochdale via Todmorden and Littleborough and 592 to Burnley via Todmorden.

West Yorkshire Metro provide operator independent information about local public transport including travel passes

See[edit]

The Eureka! National Children's Museum in Halifax
  • 1 Shibden Hall, Shibden Hall, Lister’s Road, HX3 6XG (Buses from Halifax Bus Station 255, 508, 534, 548, 549, 681 Stop:Shibden Park), +44 1422 352246, . Daily 10AM-5PM. Historic house of which parts date back to the fifteenth century. Now best known as the home of the Regency-era lesbian Anne Lister, subject of the TV series Gentleman Jack. £10, £7.50 children and over 65. Shibden Hall (Q7496040) on Wikidata Shibden Hall on Wikipedia
  • 2 Halifax Minster, Causway, +44 1422 355436. Daily 9AM-4PM. Medieval parish church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, founded in 1438. Halifax Minster (Q5642201) on Wikidata Halifax Minster on Wikipedia
  • 3 Halifax Piece Hall, Blackledge Road (Close to rail station.). Traditional wool-trading centre of Halifax, dating from 1779, now housing three floors independent shops, bars & restaurants. The central feature is a large open square. There are several heritage displays throughout. Reopened in late 2017 after redevelopment. Halifax Piece Hall (Q5642211) on Wikidata Piece Hall on Wikipedia
  • 4 Halifax Town Hall. Halifax Town Hall (Q5642260) on Wikidata Halifax Town Hall on Wikipedia
  • 5 Wainhouse Tower, Wakefield Gate. Wainhouse Tower (Q7960169) on Wikidata Wainhouse Tower on Wikipedia
  • 6 Halifax Gibbet, Gibbet Street. Halifax Gibbet (Q3897648) on Wikidata Halifax Gibbet on Wikipedia
  • 7 Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Discovery Rd (Adjoins Halifax rail station.), +441422 330069, . Daily 10AM-5PM (last entry 4PM, closed Mondays during term-time). An interactive children's museum promoting learning through play. £15.95 for a 12-month pass (discounts for groups and children less than 2). Eureka! The National Children's Museum (Q15217042) on Wikidata Eureka! (museum) on Wikipedia
  • 8 Calderdale Industrial Museum, Square Road (Close to Halifax rail station), +441422 384721. Sat 10:00 - 16:00 plus Thu during school holidays. Four floors of exhibits relating to social history, historic industries. £5, £4 Concessions. Calderdale Industrial Museum (Q28403830) on Wikidata Calderdale Industrial Museum on Wikipedia
  • 9 Bankfield Museum, Ackroyd Park, Boothstown Road, HX3 6HG. (Buses from Halifax town centre 22 & 576. Stop Akroyd Park). Tue-Sat 10:00-16:00. Museum outside the town centre that tells the story of Halifax & Calderdale through displays of costume, art, toys, jewellery & textiles. In the grounds of Akroyd Park which is part of Akroyd model village conservation area. Also incorporates the Duke of Wellington's Regimental museum. free. Bankfield Museum (Q4856277) on Wikidata Bankfield Museum on Wikipedia
  • 10 Warley Museum, Stock Lane, Warley. This museum is housed in an old telephone box and is possibly the smallest museum in the world. Only one person can visit at a time! free.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Victoria Theatre, Fountain Street, +441422 351158. Music, Comedy & Theatre in a historic building.
  • 2 Square Chapel Arts Centre (Immediately next to Piece Hall & close to rail station.), +441422 353 073. Modern Arts Centre with music, comedy, theatre. Bar/Kitchen with large choice of beers & other drinks.
  • 3 Electric Bowl, 70 Commercial Street, +441422 301123. Bowling, Snooker, Pool & more
  • Rugby League: Halifax Panthers are among the 13-a-side game's founders, breaking away from Rugby Union in 1895. The Rugby League season is March-Sept and Panthers play in the Championship, the games' second tier. Their home ground is The Shay, capacity 14,000, along A629 near the railway station east side of town.
  • Football (Soccer): FC Halifax Town play in the National League, that game's fifth tier, and they too play at The Shay. They're the successor club to Halifax Town, which went bust in 2008.
  • Halifax Traditions Festival, Town Centre. Annual, last weekend of September.
  • Halifax Agricultural Show (Savile Park Moor). One Saturday in mid-late August. Show in an area with a log history of sheep rearing, featuring animals, vintage vehicles, horiculture and trade stands.

Buy[edit]

Southgate in Halifax
  • Woolshops Shopping Centre, 30 Woolshops, +44 1422 345277. An open-air shopping centre in the heart of Halifax town centre with over forty shops ranging from M&S, Boots to Costa Coffee, Accessorise & Mountain Warehouse. The centre has a car park and is within 500 m of the town's bus & rail stations.
  • Piece Hall. see above

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Halifax town centre has a huge selection of bars, traditional pubs and late night venues, many of which are situated literally within yards of each other.

  • 1 Three Pigeons, 1 Sun Fold. South Parade. Traditional pub with award-winning art deco interior. Serves real ales.
  • 2 Victorian Craft Beer Café, 18-22 Powell Street (close to Victoria Theatre). Impressive interior divided into small areas. many Real & Craft beers
  • 3 Vocation & Co, 13-17 Alexandra Street. Roof terrace bar & Taproom serving local beers from Hebden Bridge's Vocation brewery. good choice of pizzas available.
  • 4 Meandering Bear, 21-23 Union Street. Bar with food. Named after a bear that escaped from a former local zoo.
  • 5 The Barum Top Inn, 17 Rawson Street. Wetherspoon pub

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Imperial Crown Hotel, 42-46 Horton St, +441422 652121. 41-room hotel.
  • 2 Holdsworth House, Holdsworth Hall, Holdsworth Rd, Holdsworth, +44 1422 240024.
  • 3 Wool Merchant Hotel, 5 Mulcture Hall Rd, HX1 1SP, +44 1422 368783. Check-out: 11AM. Good hotel in a quiet commercial area of town near the minster. Reasonable buffet breakfasts and Italian-themed restaurant (not Friday or Sunday) with two courses about £15 and pizzas about £17. from £42.
  • 4 Shipbden Mill Inn, Shibden Mill Fold, Halifax HX3 7UL, +44 1422 365840. 17th-century mill and inn with 11 rooms, great character and dining. Food served daily noon-11PM. B&B double £100.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Halifax
Rochdale  SW  NE  Leeds


This city travel guide to Halifax is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.