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Photograph - Mono (Document ID: 101634)

© Halifax Photographic Society

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Photograph - Mono (Document ID: 101634)

Detail of iron gate at the south entrance to the Piece Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Author: H.C. Morris
Date: 1975
Location: Halifax
Format: Photograph - Mono
Document ID: 101634
Library ID: 095250

Built in 1779 the Piece Hall replaced the original cloth hall of 1572. This was due to the growing demand for textiles in the local area. The Piece Hall was built on land donated by John Caygill. There is debate as to who the architect was, though it is often attributed to Thomas Bradley. It contained 315 rooms where merchants were able to store cloth. The length of cloth was usually 30 yards.

From the 1820s the domestic cloth trade declined due to mechanisation. With the growth of mills, manufacturers found other ways to sell their products. The Piece Hall became used for other events including entertainment such as Blondin's tightrope walk in 1861. The Piece Hall was used as a vegetable and fish market from 1871 until the mid-1970's, when it was threatened with demolition, and saved by just one vote.

The Piece Hall is now a Grade I listed building. It is the only surviving, complete cloth hall in the UK. In 2017, a £19 million conservation and transformation programme was completed, which has greatly enhanced the Piece Hall as a visitor attraction.

The Piece Hall now houses a range of shops, bars and restaurants as well as heritage and art exhibitions and events are held regularly in the spectacular outdoor space. The award-winning Central Library lies just through the new east gate.

This photo is by H C Morris of the Halifax Photographic Society.

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