A Georgian Masterpiece
The Piece Hall, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, is a unique Grade 1 Listed building of extraordinary significance. It is one of only two fully intact cloth halls in Europe, and the only one in Britain. Built in 1779, it is a supreme example of pre-industrial Georgian architecture.
A Remarkable Survival
The Piece Hall has had many roles throughout its long history. Built for the trading of locally made, hand-woven “pieces” of woollen cloth, its original purpose disappeared with the coming of industrialisation. By 1815, the building was being used as venue for political meetings and public spectaculars – including novelties such as balloon flights and tightrope walking. The Victorian era saw it becoming home to a thriving fruit and vegetable market, used as a horse fair, and as a venue for enormous community “sings” with over 30,000 people attending. Scheduled as an Ancient Monument in 1927, it was nevertheless targeted for demolition in the early 1970s, escaping by a single vote in 1972. It then became, and currently is, home to a range of unique shops and as a place for a wide range of events.
A Great Future
The Piece Hall has survived against the odds and is a much loved and cherished building. However, it now needs significant investment to repair and conserve it, and to ensure that it has a sound long-term future.
Following a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £7m, Calderdale Council are are now investing £10m in the transformation of the Piece Hall. The total cost of the transformation project is £19m and fundraising is underway for the final £2m.