The last of the “Sketches of Halifax” published in the Illustrated London News of the 5th August 1882 is, appropriately enough, a sketch of what is now the town’s most celebrated building – the Piece Hall. When the ILN artist visited the Piece Hall back in 1882, he found a building that was in decline. The article that accompanies the sketches describes it as follows:-
“The old Cloth Hall, or Piece Hall, which was the exchange for the staple woollen manufacturing trade, but has of late years been comparatively deserted for that of Bradford, was built about the year 1780. It is of great size, but simply an open court, surrounded with double stone colonnades and stalls or small shops for the dealers to show their wares.”
140 years after that less than glowing review of the Piece Hall, it is well worth noting that the “deserted and simple open court” has recently been voted the Yorkshire’s most iconic building.