Tuesday 30 August 2011

Halifax Piece Hall

Eleanor has been asking to go to Halifax Piece Hall since the start of the holidays, so with nothing else planned yesterday, we headed off.

The Piece Hall was built in 1779 as a marketplace for the cloth trade, and is the only survivor of the 18th century northern cloth halls. It's a grade 1 listed building and is now home to independent retailers.

It's a shame that many of the units are standing empty. Since we were last there, more retailers have closed down, though a couple of new ones have sprung up too, and we noticed a sign advertising a vintage shop which will be opening in September.

We were disappointed to find that many shops were closed due to the bank holiday. The old fashioned sweet shop was tempting us with it's wares, but drool was all we could do, as it too was closed.

There's a huge range of shops at the Piece Hall, that's what I love about it. Comics can be bought in Legacy Comics, bespoke, handcrafted miniature clay characters in Little You, Pagan and Spiritual artefacts in Friendly Dragon Too, and traditional games in Red Patch. There are a number of cafes too, including Maktub Tea House where you can buy 30 kinds of loose leaf tea.

Creative Crystals is a lovely shop which sells crystals, fossils, gems and jewellery from around the world. It was one of the few shops which was open yesterday.

Although the second hand bookshop was closed, the owner had left books out on the windowsills and asked for payment to be posted through the letterbox. It's nice to see that trust is still put in people in this day and age.

One shop I was looking forward to visiting was Three Bags Full, a wool shop. I didn't realise that the shop only opens from Tuesday to Saturday. Mick had already told me that I could treat myself, so it was hugely disappointing.

I liked their closed sign.

As most of the shops were closed, it didn't take us long to see everything so we headed off in to Halifax city centre. Most of the shops there were open so we had a mooch around before coming home.

We're now in to the last week of the school holidays. School starts again on Monday, though it's a teacher training day, so Eleanor goes back next Tuesday, and as Daniel is starting in the sixth form he doesn't go back until next Thursday.

It's my birthday on Saturday so Mick decided to take Monday off work to make it a long weekend, but Daniel has to go in to school for an hour in the afternoon as he's considering changing one of his A level subjects. This will cut right in to our day, so instead of Monday, Mick is now taking this Friday off. It'll be nice to have another long weekend all together before the onslaught of school.


  1. Shame about Bank Holiday closing...you just don't know what's going on these days. Sometimes EVERYBODY is open - othertimes some, othertimes nobody!
    We made a wasted journey to curry's last night - after a busy day too!

  2. Hi Jo
    That looks a brilliant place to visit, both for the architecture and history, and for the shops.
    What a shame though that some of them were closed.
    Hope you enjoy your birthday on saturday - Happy Birthday for then!
    Gill xx

  3. You'd have thought that it would be a good day to be open!
    Empty units are a sad sign of the times. Flighty xx

  4. Thanks, everyone.

    Mrs Nesbitt - You're right, you don't know where you are, some shops open on bank holiday's and other's don't. Sorry to hear about your wasted trip.

    Gill - The architecture is fantastic and has stood the test of time well. It's such a vast place, but such a shame that so many units are standing empty. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

    Flighty - It is a sign of the times, but as you say, bank holiday's are surely a good time to open. You'd think that those occupied units would have opened up. There were a surprising amount of people there to say there were only a few shops open.