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About Halifax

Halifax, West Yorkshire

 

 

 

 

Halifax is a minster town, in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale inWest Yorkshire, England. It had an urban area population of 82,056 at the 2001 census. The town is known as a centre of woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, originally dealing through the Piece Hall. Halifax is known for Mackintosh's chocolate and toffee (now owned by Nestlé), that manufacture products including Rolo, Quality Street and Rowntrees.Shibden Hall is also based in Halifax. The Halifax Bank and Yorkshire Bankwere also founded in Halifax. Halifax Bank is now part of HBOS and originally named, The Yorkshire Penny Bank, Yorkshire Bank now has its Headquarters in Leeds. One of the largest textile factories in the world, at over half a mile long, Dean Clough was located in the north of the town. The premises have since been converted for office and retail use including a gym, theatre, Travelodge and radio station.

 

 

 

 

Halifax view from Beacon Hill.jpg
A view of Halifax from Beacon Hill

 

 

 

 

 

History

 

Coat of Arms
Halifax in 1834

 

Halifax is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, and evidence of the early settlement is sketchy. By the 12th century the township had become the religious centre of the vast parish of Halifax, which extended fromBrighouse in the east to Heptonstall in the west. Halifax Minster, parts of which date from the 12th century is dedicated to St John the Baptist. The minster's first organist, in 1766, was William Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus. The coat of arms of Halifax include the chequers from the original coat of arms of the Earls Warenne, who held the town during Norman times.

Halifax was notorious for its gibbet, an early form of guillotine used to execute criminals by decapitation, that was last used in 1650. A replica has been erected on the original site in Gibbet Street. Its original blade is on display at Bankfield Museum. Punishment in Halifax was notoriously harsh, as remembered in the Beggar's Litany by John Taylor (1580–1654), a prayer whose text included "From Hull, from Halifax, from Hell, ‘tis thus, From all these three, Good Lord deliver us.".

The town's 19th-century wealth came from the cotton, wool and carpet industries and like most other Yorkshire towns had it had a large number of weaving mills many of which have been lost or converted to alternate use.

In November 1938, in an incident of mass hysteria, many residents believed a serial killer— The Halifax Slasher —was on the loose. Scotland Yard concluded there were no attacks after several locals admitted they had inflicted wounds on themselves.

Halifax plc started as a building society in the town and is a trading name of HBOS, part of the Lloyds Banking Group. Halifax is twinned with Aachen in Germany. The A58 has a stretch called Aachen Way.

Halifax has benefited from Single Regeneration Budget, European URBAN II and the Home Office’s Community Cohesion Fund money through Action Halifax who have a vision for "a prosperous, vibrant and safe centre where all sections of the community can access opportunities to enhance their quality of life."






Economy

 

 
Joseph Crossley's Almshouses


 
 
The former Halifax Bankheadquarters on Trinity Road

As well as the significance of the bank Halifax plc which, since 2008, is part of theLloyds Banking Group, the town has strong associations with confectionery.

John Mackintosh and his wife, Violet, opened a toffee shop in King Cross Lane in 1890. Violet formulated the toffee's recipe. John became known as "The Toffee King". A factory was opened on Queens Road in 1898. A new factory at Albion Mill, at the current site near the railway station, opened in 1909. John died in 1920, and his son Harold not only continued the business but took it to the present size and range of confectionery it has today. Their famous brands, including Rolo, Toffee Crisp and Quality Street of chocolate and confectionery are not just popular in the UK, but around the world including the USA.

In 1969 John Mackintosh & Co Limited merged with the York-based Rowntree Limited to form Rowntree Mackintosh. This was, in turn, purchased by Nestlé in 1988.

Halifax was a busy industrial town, dealing in and producing wool, carpets, machine tools and beer. The Crossley family began carpet manufacture in modest premises at Dean Clough, on the banks of the Hebble Brook. The family was philanthropic and Joseph and Sir Francis Crossley built and endowed almshouses for their workers, which exist to this day and are run by volunteer trustees. Halifax is also home toSuma Wholefoods, which was established in 1975 and is the largest workers' co-operative in the UK.






Education

 

The Halifax area is home to two selective state schools, which are The Crossley Heath School in Savile Park and North Halifax Grammar School in Illingworth. Both schools achieve excellent GCSE and A-level results with both schools achieving a large proportion of A* to C grades at GCSE level. In 2005, the Crossley Heath School was the highest ranking co-educational school in the North of England.

The Crossley Heath School was formed when two schools merged. The original schools were: Heath Grammar School, an all-boys school and given its charter by Elizabeth I of England, and The Crossley and Porter School, a mixed school founded with his brothers by Sir Francis Crossley, 1st Baronet which started as an orphanage. They were combined in 1985. There are other schools in the area, including the Trinity Academy (formerly Holy Trinity Church of England Senior School), which became an academy in 2010, and St Catherine's Catholic High School, both of which are located in Holmfield. St Catherine's, is designated a Specialist Technology College. In July 2013 St Catherine's closed leaving Trinity Academy the only non selective school in the area.

Calderdale College is the local further education college on Francis Street, just off King Cross Road, in the west of the town. In December 2006 it was announced that Calderdale College, in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, opened a new higher education institution in January 2007 called 'University Centre Calderdale'.

 

 

 

 

 

Religious buildings

 

The Assembly Rooms and Trinity Church in Halifax from A Complete History of the County of York by Thomas Allen (1828–30)
 

The 15th century Minster dedicated to St. John the Baptist did not achieve cathedralstatus when a new diocese was being considered for the West Riding (WakefieldParish Church became the cathedral in 1888 and was extensively altered and enlarged). Minster Status was conferred on the Parish Church in a ceremony on 22 November 2009.There is a collection of rare Commonwealth white glass as well as a series of Victorian windows. Another feature is the complete array of Jacobean box pews. The pair of Gothic organ cases by John Oldrid Scott now house the four-manual instrument by Harrison & Harrison. The belfry holds fourteen bells and anAngelus.

The Serbian Orthodox Church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, in the Boothtown area, formerly the Mount Carmel Methodist Chapel, was acquired in 1956 and after extensive refurbishment was opened in the early part of the 1960s by the town'sSerbian community.

The currently mothballed mid-Victorian All Souls Church by Sir George Gilbert Scottstanding part way up Haley Hill to the north of the main town centre is now vested in the Historic Churches Preservation Trust. Its lofty 236-foot (72 m) spire and white magnesian limestone exterior stand as a very personal statement in 13th-century French style of the mill owner Colonel Edward Akroyd, who paid solely for its construction as the centre-piece of a purpose-built model village ("Akroydon"). All Souls' boasts an unusually complete sequence of windows by the leading artists of the 1850s, including William Wailes, John Hardman and Clayton & Bell. The large organ by Forster & Andrews inserted in 1868, ten years after the building was completed, is currently unplayable and many of its surviving parts are in storage awaiting restoration. The tower houses a ring of eight bells.

Other churches include the Georgian Holy Trinity Church (now converted to office use) and the late neo-Gothic (1911) St. Paul's, King Cross, by Sir Charles Nicholson. St Paul's is notable not only for its fine acoustics but also for an unusual and highly colourful west window, specified by Nicholson, showing the apocalyptic vision of the Holy City descending upon the smoky mills and railway viaducts of Halifax as it was before the First World War. The Church of St Jude in Savile Park, designed by local architect William Swinden Barber in 1888, is easily identified by the four large pinnacles on its tower.[32]

The spire of the Square Church, not far from the Minster at the bottom of the town, paid for by the carpet manufacturing Crossley family, is all that remains of the Gothic Congregational church built by Joseph James in 1856–58 as a rival design to All Souls', Haley Hill. The building was closed in 1969 and arsonists caused severe damage to the building two years later leading to its partial demolition. The rather comic story of the rival spires runs that the two buildings' towers were nearing completion simultaneously; the architects were ordered to stop work within a few feet of the top of the spires to see who would finish first. After some time, the Crossleys lost patience and finished their spire at 235-foot (72 m), prompting the immediate completion of the rival building one foot higher. The neighbouring and earlier (Georgian) Square Chapel (1772) survived a hundred years of use as a church hall and Sunday School for the larger church: it is currently an arts centre.

There are four Mosques in Halifax, the main ones being Madni Jamia Mosque on Gibbet Street, and Al Jamia Al Zahra which is co-located with: Zahra Educational and Cultural Centre, on Francis Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax,_West_Yorkshire


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