Halifax is a small but very impressive town in UK. Halifax is associated with the largest woolen industry and the famous Quality Street Toffees manufactured by Mackintosh chocolate confectionary. Mackintosh has created a lot of variety in chocolates and toffees and is now owned by Nestle. The town was once the biggest producer of woolen products and had a huge textile market and one of the largest textile factories in the world.
Halifax also became home to a Minster, when an honorable title was given in 2009 to the amazing Halifax church. Halifax Bank was founded in Halifax and its headquarter is still located in the town.
History of Halifax UK
It is hard to find the early settlement evidences about Halifax in prehistory. The Halifax Minster dates back to the 12th century which shows that the town was an important religious center during that era. Halifax was also known for beheading criminals by a Gibbet till 1650. The replica for the Gibbet is installed on the original site. During 19th Century, the town became very famous because of its woolen, textiles and carpet industry.
16 Wonderful Attractions to visit in Halifax
Piece Hall Halifax
Piece Hall was built as a trading hall for the textile industry in 1779. Today it is the only surviving British cloth hall from the 18th century. £19m budget has been spent on the restoration project of Piece Hall converting it into a superb venue for a visit, shopping and outdoor activities. This Georgian architecture was once a thriving marketplace for handloom weavers for trading and sales of cloth.
After the extensive restoration, the place has turned into a social gathering piazza featuring independent shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and amenities. There is a heritage visitor center and an art gallery that hosts temporary exhibitions. The courtyard of Piece Hall is an amazing place for outdoor gatherings, musical concerts and events.
Shibden Park Halifax UK
The beautiful and eye-catching landscape of the Shibden Park dates back to the early 19th century. Since then the lovely patterns of the flowerbeds are adding to the decorations of the park. There are many varieties of trees species in this park which were replanted in 19th century. There is a beautiful lake in the park where you can enjoy rowing boat activities. This is a very attractive place to visit with kids as kids can enjoy a miniature train journey and play around. There are many fun activities like storytelling, art fairs, children workshops and live music events that are held here on regular basis.
Shibden Hall Halifax UK
Shibden Hall is a 15th century historic house inside the Shibden park in the north east side of Halifax. The property had been a residence to many families over the period of 600 years. There have been many renovations during those times. One of the attractions at Shibden Hall is the carving of coats of arms into the stone of a window. These coats of arms belong to the three early families who lived here.
One of the most famous residents of Shibden Hall was Annie Lister who wrote everything about her life in complete detail. Her diary became very famous because of her detailed encounters and relationships. The staff at Shibden Hall is very friendly and will guide you through your tour. Do ask them about the secret hidden painting, which most probably they will show you without even asking. There is a 18th century barn outside the house where a collection of carriages, blacksmith tools, wheel and barrel making tools are displayed. Shibden Park and Shibden Hall both provide a great one-day tour and attraction place in Halifax.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
Eureka was founded in 1992 near the Halifax railway station and is inspired by the children’s science museum in USA. This is a wonderful place to visit with kids as they learn about many things from more than 400 interactive exhibits. The museum targets age groups of children up to 11 years old. The museum has 6 different galleries which are categorized by age groups. The attractions include a sound garden, creatures of the desert and creativity space for younger children. For older children there is a child sized town where they can play a role of their dream job. The older children can learn about new technology in Spark gallery and can also discover about human body.
Halifax Minster UK
The Halifax Minster was built around 900 years ago and is an active place of worship, education; and a place for cultural and civic activities. The honorary title was given to the 15th century grade 1 Halifax church in 2009. The church has a historic importance towards civic and religious life in the town. The interior of the building is absolutely wonderful. The designs of stained glass and painted wooden ceilings are amazing. Entrance to the Halifax Minster is free. Some windows of the church have an early style from the 13th century.
Wainhouse Tower UK
Wainhouse Tower (84 meters) is known as the tallest folly in the world. This large tower is located at the south west side of Halifax, Calderdale. It took 4 years to build the structure from 1871 to 1875. There are 405 stairs to the top observation desk. The tower is a Grade II listed building in UK and is opened to the public only on bank holidays.
The interesting story behind the construction of the folly was the rivalry between John Edward Wainhouse and his neighbor Sir Henry Edwards. When Edwards boasted that he had the most private estate in all of Halifax and no once can get a glimpse of it, Wainhouse decided to build the chimney so that Edward could never boast of his privacy again. The architectural design of the chimney was created to serve the dye works and to carry smoke out of the valley by keeping a high altitude. A smaller and simple Chimney could have been enough but Wainhouse insisted a bigger chimney as an object of attraction. The mill was never built, and the chimney was turned into an observation deck.
Manor Heath Jungle Experience
The Jungle experience is located inside the Manor Health Park. This is a wonderful tropical attraction in the cold atmosphere of Halifax. You can see tropical water lilies, banana plants, orchids, birds of paradise and many other exotic plants. The raised wooden walkways look very cool and give you a better glimpse of everything around.
There is also a savage section in the park with carnivorous plants. Another interesting part is the “Time zone” where you can learn about the history of plants from the dinosaur eras around 400 million years ago. You can also enjoy beautiful butterflies that fly freely in the Butterfly Garden.
Manor Health Garden is also a cool attraction which is an annual green flag winner and is a great place to relax. Anybody can enter the Manor Health Garden but has to pay 1 GBP to enter the Jungle Experience.
Bankfield Museum Halifax UK
Bankfiled museum is located in an impressive mansion which was owned and developed by Edward Akroyd who was a mill owner in 19th century. The building was donated to the town when Edward retired. The museum has a large collection of English military equipment, Japanese armor, toys, Egyptian Antiques, paintings, sculptures, jewelry and local artifacts. There are several displays of textile related artifacts and fabrics.
Calderdale Industrial Museum
Calderdale Industrial Museum in Halifax is open on every Saturday from 10am to 4pm. The museum has four floors which exhibit a great collection of industrial machines and artifacts. Some of the machines are very interesting as they are the last surviving units of their kind. There is a big oil engine named as Sadie, which provides the power to many machine tools. The exhibits include machines from textile industry, quarry, coal mining and clay extraction. The museum is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers and a registered charity called Calderdale Industrial Museum Association.
The ground floor displays the history of power when it started from water wheels and upgraded to combustion engines run by steam and electricity. The power gallery also puts light on the importance of power in the growth of textile industry of Halifax. The first floor is dedicated to the products manufactured in Halifax such as Mackintosh’s toffee collection and Crossley’s carpets.
Halifax Town Hall UK
Halifax Town Hall opens only on heritage open days otherwise most of the time it can only be seen from the outside. The town hall was built in early 1860s with 24,000 tons of local sandstone. The entrance hall, council chamber and Victoria hall are a treat to watch as they glow beautifully by the light that comes through stained glass.
Borough Market Halifax UK
Borough Market in Halifax is a must-see place with its original Victorian shopfronts, painted iron framework and bold facades. This is a Grade II listed building in UK. The place is a host to an award winner covered market. The market opens everyday from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. The market is a busy place for grocery with stalls of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. There are also many stalls of pastries, relishes and olives. You can also find a lot of things to eat ranging from snacks to deserts.
People’s Park Halifax
Sir Francis Crossley wanted to build a park where people could enjoy refreshing walks in the natural environment with the beautiful art around them. He dedicated a 12.5-acre open space for the park in the middle of a conservation area and gifted it to the people of Halifax in 1857. The park is decorated in Italian style and sculptures of Greek mythological figures are placed in the surroundings.
Ogden Water Country Park
Ogden Water Country Park is around 4 miles away from Halifax towards North. This is a wonderful place for hiking lovers and picnic lovers. The park consists of around 150 acres of lovely woodland around a reservoir. The reservoir has won the poll of the most favorite reservoir in Yorkshire. The trails are amazing with breathtaking views around the area.
Halifax Ski and Snowboard Center
There is a wonderful ski and snowboard center in the hills above Halifax in West Yorkshire, England. This is also one of the premier ski centers of UK. There are classes and courses that range from beginner to professionals. People can attend the course in groups or in private sessions. The ski equipment is provided by the center, but you need to wear clothes and gloves according to the weather conditions.
Robin Hood’s Grave
A very interesting place near Halifax is the grave of Robin Hood. Many of the people think that Robin Hood was buried somewhere in Nottingham until this grave appeared. The grave has the name of Robin Hood on it. Still it is not confirmed that if it is the real grave of Robin Hood as there are several sites that claim to be the final resting place of the historical English outlaw. This grave is located near to the Kirklees Hall estate.
According to a legend, Robin Hood traveled to the former Kirklees Priory in order to be treated by the Prioress who instead killed him by cutting his veins. Robin, when understood that he will not survive, shot an arrow and told Little John to burry him wherever his final arrow landed.
Halifax Gibbet UK
Halifax Gibbet is now a replica of the original Gibbet which was a tool to behead the criminals in 16th century. Halifax Gibbet is displayed at the Gibbet Street near the town center. This is the actual place where dozens of criminals were decapitated. It also has a record of around 52 people who were put to death by the killing machine.
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