Heritage Town

Halifax Town in Calderdale, West Yorkshire

Other Local Sites: Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Brighouse, Heptonstall

Halifax is a town in the county of West Yorkshire, northern England, with a population of about 90,000. It is well known as a centre of England's woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward.

Halifax Coat of Arms Town Crest

Except The Lord Keep the City

The name Halifax is said to be a corruption of the old English words for Holy and Face, part of the local legend that the head of John the Baptist was buried here after his execution. The legend is almost certainly mediaeval rather than ancient, though the town's coat of arms still carries an image of the Saint. 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 later discovered the planet Uranus.)

Halifax Piece HallHalifax Piece Hall was the cloth hall where the trading of the woollen cloth pieces was done. It was opened on January 1, 1779, was only open for business for two hours on a Saturday morning, and contained 315 merchants' trading rooms. After the mechanisation of the cloth industry, the Piece Hall was used as a public market and still is today. The Calderdale Industrial Museum (now closed) was housed within the Piece Hall.

The 'Eureka!' family science museum, which was inpsired and opened by Prince Charles in the summer of 1992 is also located in the town.

The Town Hall built 1863 was built by Charles Barry who also built the Houses of Parliament.

Wainhouse tower is the tallest folly in the world standing at 275ft. It was designed by Isaac Booth for John Wainhouse as the chimney for his dye works but in 1874 Wainhouse sold the dye works to his manager who refused to pay to complete the oversized chimney so John Wainhouse kept it for himself. It has a decorative cap with an observation platform reached by an interior spiral staircase containing 403 stairs. It is now only open to the public on bank holidays.

The Duke of Wellington's Regiment Regimental Headquarters was once based at Wellesley Park, on the junction of Gibbet Street and Spring Hall Road, in the old Museum Building. The Regimental Museum has been rehoused in Bankfoot House Textile Museum (Bankfield Museum) on Haley Hill. The Barracks was converted into an Educational school in 2005.

Victoria Theatre Halifax Victoria Theatre Halifax

Since 1974 Halifax has been the centre of the metropolitan district of Calderdale, part of the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. Halifax has given its name to a bank Halifax plc which started as a building society in the town. Halifax is a twin town with Aachen in Germany.

The Halifax GibbetHalifax was also notorious for the 'Halifax Gibbet', an early form of the guillotine used to execute criminals by decapitation, and last used in 1650. A replica of the gibbet has been erected in Gibbet Street. Law-enforcement in Halifax was notoriously harsh, as remembered in the Beggar's Litany, a prayer whose text was "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us!"

Halifax is also home to a vibrant South Asian community mainly of Pakistani Muslims from the Azad Kashmir region. Most of the community lives in the West Central Halifax region of the town, which was previously home to immigrant Irish communities which have since moved to outer suburbs.

North Halifax is a collective of suburbs of Halifax physically divided from West Central Halifax by Dean Clough. North Halifax is noted for its local support of the far-right British National Party; the suburb of Mixenden became the first area in West Yorkshire to popularly vote in a BNP councillor. It is also home to the prestigious North Halifax Grammar School, one of the last of two remaining selective schools in Calderdale District. North Halifax in constrast with West Central Halifax's ethnic diversity, houses mainly white Protestant residents. West Central Halifax has older stone terrace houses which have stood the test of time and are still standing, while North Halifax has many ex-council houses built in the 50s and 60's of varying standards; in recent years many houses in North Halifax have been demolished due to their uninhabitable conditions. A notable example of this is the the Jumples block of flats, which lay empty for over 15 years before finally being condemned and razed to the ground. Abbey Park, an award winning development in the 1960s was demolished in the late 90s because the houses were unfit to live in. North Halifax is also known for its high levels of social deprivation and associated high crime rates. West Central Halifax is also notorious for social deprivation and high crime rates.

The above mentioned North Halifax Grammar School in Illingworth, Halifax, is a selective 11-18 school that is highly ranked nationally. Recently selected as a "Specialist Science College" under Educational Reforms, it produces excellent GCSE and A-Level results in Arts and Sciences.

While certain areas of Halifax are in relatively poor condition, it is not without its desirable locations; Wheatley, Bradshaw, Holmfield and Illingworth Moor. Savile Park, Skircoat Green have many higher-priced, privately owned residences.

In addition to the two previosly mentioned districts there are many other areas stretching primaraley down two valleys the calder and the hebble valley. Both areas begin with lower class council housing close to the town centre and improving in value, quality and age as you progress down the valley away from halifax. The main area in the calder valley is Sowerby Bridge where as in the hebble it is Mytholmroyd, Luddenfoot and Hebden bridge. Halifax also has a large area heading south consisting of 3 main areas called Siddal, Greetland and Elland. All three are well known for there rugby intrests with Elland and Siddal been rugby league (like most of yorkshire) and Greetland been rugby union (Heath RUFC).

Other Local Information:
Local Information:
A metropolitan district in West Yorkshire, England. Its major settlement is Halifax.

The district is mostly rural and covers part of the Pennines, but there are some industrial towns in the east and some river valleys. Calderdale is named after the River Calder, which runs through it.

The district was formed on April 1, 1974 by the merger of the county borough of Halifax, the boroughs of Brighouse, Todmorden and the urban districts of Elland, Hebden Royd, Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge, and part of Queensbury and Shelf urban district.

Places in Calderdale include:
  • Brighouse
  • Chiserley, Cornholme, Cragg Vale
  • Elland
  • Greetland
  • Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Holywell Green
  • Illingworth
  • Luddenden, Luddenden Foot
  • Midgeley, Mill Bank, Mixenden, Mount Tabor, Mytholm, Mytholmroyd
  • Ogden, Old Town, Ovenden
  • Pellon
  • Ripponden, Rishworth
  • Savile Park, Skircoat Green, Sowerby, Sowerby Bridge, Sowood Green, Stainland
  • Todmorden, Triangle
  • Wainstalls, Walsden, Warley Town, West Vale, Wholestone Hill