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  1. Lightcliffe Tower, Old St Matthews Church - Resting Place of Ann Walker

    Halifax

    Lightcliffe Tower, Old St Matthews Church - Resting Place of Ann Walker

    Ann Walker’s grandfather, William, largely funded the Georgian Lightcliffe Old St Matthew Church, which was erected in 1775 and replaced a...

    Ann Walker’s grandfather, William, largely funded the Georgian Lightcliffe Old St Matthew Church, which was erected in 1775 and replaced an earlier, Tudor foundation.

    William also built Cliffe Hill just a short walk away, where Ann Walker lived. Ann and her family worshipped at St Matthew’s Church and had family pews.

    After becoming the companion and wife of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, the couple had a green velvet-lined pew installed at St Matthew’s so they could worship together there.

    Ann died in February 1854 and was buried in the church, according to her memorial plaque “under the pulpit”. The exact location of this pulpit is the subject of debate, as the church was replaced in 1880 with the current church building.

    The old St Matthew’s church was used as a mortuary chapel, but it fell into decay after suffering serious damage from a storm in the 1960’s. Vandalism and theft followed and the church was demolished in the early 1970s.

    Fortunately the ‘Friends of Friendless Churches’ rescued the memorials from the walls of the church and they are now stored in Lightcliffe Tower, the only remaining part of the old St Matthew Church.

    A memorial stone has been placed on the spot where it is thought that Ann lies and the brass memorial plaque to her now hangs high inside the tower. The plaque is hard to decipher but reads:

    In memory of Ann Walker of Cliffe Hill who was born May 20th 1803 and died February 25th 1854

    and is buried underneath the pulpit in this church.

    And of her niece, Mary who died June 6th 1845 and is buried in this churchyard.

    And of her nephews George Sackville (Sutherland) who died in 1843 aged 12,

    John Walker who died in 1836 aged 1 year and are buried in Kirkmichael, Rosshire,

    the children of George MacKay and Elizabeth Sutherland

    Sadly there are no known images of Ann Walker. Most of what we know about her comes from Anne Lister's diaires and letters. Ann Walker is portrayed by Sophie Rundle in the BBC ONE/ HBO drma Gentleman Jack.

    You will find Lightcliffe Tower along Wakefield Road, in Lightcliffe, Halifax. The tower is located on your left (as you are driving out of Halifax) just before Till Carr Lane, opposite the Sun Country Inn, HX3 8TH.

  2. Wainhouse Tower, Halifax photo by Alastair Wallace

    Halifax

    Wainhouse Tower

    The 253 ft Wainhouse Tower was originally commissioned as a chimney for the local dye works by John Edward Wainhouse in the late 19th century. The ...
    The 253 ft Wainhouse Tower was originally commissioned as a chimney for the local dye works by John Edward Wainhouse in the late 19th century. The structure was never actually used as a working chimney and as such, is regarded by many as one of Britain's finest follies. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wainhouse Tower was open to the public on the Bank Holidays, for those brave enough to tackle the 403 steps to the viewing gallery at the top, the stunning views make it well worth the climb. We hope that it will be possible to reopen the Tower to visitors in 2021 and will add any dates the Tower may be open to the public here when and if they are confirmed. A Brief History of Wainhouse Tower Born in 1817 John Edward Wainhouse inherited his Uncle’s Dyeworks on Washer Lane, Halifax in 1856. The Dyeworks were typical of the day, causing considerable pollution because of smoke emissions. Halifax was badly affected by smog. For weeks on end the smoke laden atmosphere blanketed the town, reducing sunlight and contaminating the landscape with soot and sulphur trioxide. This national problem caused the Government to introduce a Smoke Abatement Act. Wainhouse developed the idea of building a chimney 350 metres up the hillside from the Dyeworks, connected to it by an underground tunnel. Sir Henry Edwards, A wealthy neighbour of John Edward Wainhouse, made complaints about the smoke nuisance caused by the Dyeworks, leading to a feud between the two men. Mr Isaac Booth (who was also Sir Henry’s architect) was asked by Wainhouse to design and build the mill chimney. The design incorporated an internal staircase that led to four balcony features. This exacerbated the deepening feud between Wainhouse and Sir Henry. Sir Henry, an extrovert and boastful man, claimed that his private estate at Pye Nest could not be viewed from any house o the hills. Wainhouse said he would rectify this by putting an observatory at the top of his chimney. Work commenced in 1871. In 1873, as a result of the feuding; the architect Isaac Booth decided he could no longer work for either man. This led to the appointment of Richard Swarbrick Dugdale, who redesigned the upper section of the building. The new design incorporated a corbelled and balustrade balcony, surmounted by a lantern dome and finial. The building was completed on the 9th September 1875. It is estimated that over 9,000 tonnes of materials were used. The total cost is thought to be in the region of £15,000. However, by the time the building was completed, it was clear that it would never be used as a chimney. The Washer Lane Dyeworks had been sold in 1874 to the works manager Mr Henry Mossman. The sale did not include the Tower. It is thought that Mossman saw the then uncompleted building to be a liability. This point of view is difficult to understand given the fact that Mossman was then prosecuted under the Smoke Abatement Act. Mossman proved that considerable efforts were made to abate the smoke nuisance by pulling down six existing small chimneys …and erecting a large chimney in their place! John Edward Wainhouse died on 26th July 1883 at the age of 66. He as buried in the family grave at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Halifax. The gravestone is located against the boundary wall on the south side of the Church. The Tower and three acres of surrounding land was sold by auction in 1887. The Tower changed hands several times until coming under the ownership of the Halifax Corporation in 1919. During the Second World War the Tower was used by the military authorities as an observation post. As a result of the reorganisation of Local Government in 1974, Wainhouse Tower became the property of Calderdale Council. Today the Tower is used as a viewing platform; open to the public on Bank Holidays and other select days through the year
  3. IOU Theatre

    Halifax

    IOU Theatre

    IOU is a producing organisation with nearly 40 years’ experience making live shows and contemporary art installations that combine many art forms t...
    IOU is a producing organisation with nearly 40 years’ experience making live shows and contemporary art installations that combine many art forms together with new and innovative technology. All aspects of the work are originated by the company and devised for unusual indoor and outdoor locations as well as established touring venues and galleries. IOU’s work is created by teams drawn from an international pool of professional artists, makers, performers, poets, musicians and technicians who have a range of experience working with the company - from founder members, new collaborators to recent graduates. We support the development of independent artists’ creative practice and offer opportunities to emerging artists (regionally and nationally) across a range of disciplines to develop their ideas, creative and professional skills. We also deliver a learning and participation programme to the local community, schools and families.
  4. Halifax Town Hall

    Halifax

    Halifax Town Hall

    Halifax's ornate town hall was designed by Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament. This Grade ll* listed building has a magnific...
    Halifax's ornate town hall was designed by Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament. This Grade ll* listed building has a magnificent 180ft tower and spire which is enriched with sculpture. Free guided tours of Halifax Town Hall can be arranged to help you learn more about its fascinating history. Please contact the Mayor's Office on 01422 393022.
  5. Hali-Facts Trail front page

    Halifax

    Hali-Facts Heritage Discovery Trail

    This Heritage Discovery Trail has been designed for children and families, but will be enjoyed by people of all ages. It will take you on a walking...
    This Heritage Discovery Trail has been designed for children and families, but will be enjoyed by people of all ages. It will take you on a walking tour around Halifax town centre, asking you to use your detective skills of observation, thinking, note-taking and sketching as you go. You can complete the Discovery Trail in a way that suits you. It can be done in ‘bite-size’ chunks over several visits or if you are feeling brave and have a lot of energy, you can try it all in one go! Many of the tasks can be completed by looking at the outsides of the buildings but sometimes, you will be invited to pop indoors to have a search around. Please check the opening times for each building that allows this – details are on their websites which are listed throughout the booklet. As far as is reasonably practicable, each building on this Discovery Trail provides a standard of access for disabled people equal to that enjoyed by the rest of the public.
  6. Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse

    Brighouse

    Smith Art Gallery & Brighouse Library

    Please note that the Gallery & Library will be closing to the public from 20th March until further n...

    Please note that the Gallery & Library will be closing to the public from 20th March until further notice.

    This purpose built Art Gallery and public library, known as ‘The Rydings’, is surrounded by a beautiful park and gardens.

    The front gallery hosts an exhibition of oil paintings, based on People and Places, including works by Atkinson Grimshaw, Marcus Stone and Thomas Sydney Cooper. The rear gallery hosts changing displays, covering a wide variety of themes from local artists to touring exhibitions, including photography, mixed media and sculpture, ensuring there is always something new and different to enjoy.

    The gallery was built by Alderman William Smith and donated, along with his collection of artwork, to the people of Brighouse in 1907.

    The Smith Art Gallery provides a pleasant atmosphere to meet your friends, interact with beautiful paintings and do the family gallery hunt/trail.

    There is also an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions in a range of media from paintings to photography and textiles, providing a wonderful experience each time you visit.

  7. Halifax Minster

    Halifax

    Halifax Minster

    Located in the heart of Halifax, Halifax Minster is a handsome 15th Century Grade 1 listed Parish Church; a site of major historical importance, a ...
    Located in the heart of Halifax, Halifax Minster is a handsome 15th Century Grade 1 listed Parish Church; a site of major historical importance, a place of worship, prayer, of civic engagement, education and culture; with a year-round programme of events for you to enjoy. The church of St John the Baptist Halifax was given its Minster status in 2009 in recognition of its important role in the civic life of the town and borough. Visit Halifax Minster to enjoy a tour of the beautiful and historic interior of the building, the beautiful stained glass and painted wooden ceiling panels. Look out for the mice carved into the Thompson chairs in the Wellington Chapel! Children can enjoy Halifax Minster too. When you arrive with the kids you have free use of a backpack containing a short guide around the Minster, an eye-spy guide to the 16 stained-glass windows, paper, pencils and crayons to make drawings of all the interesting things you'll find and a torch to help you find them! Enjoy organ recitals on Thursdays at 1pm from March to end of October. Lunch (£4) is available from 12.15pm. There are also regular performances by the Minster Choir, our Summer festival in June & July and other events throughout the year. Entrance to Halifax Minster is FREE, with donations welcome to help us maintain and preserve this beautiful building for future generations to enjoy.
  8. Dock Pudding

    Mytholmroyd

    Dock Pudding

    Dock Pudding is a dish that, as far as we know, is only found here in Calderdale. It's made from dock leaves (from a sweet variety called Polygo...

    Dock Pudding is a dish that, as far as we know, is only found here in Calderdale. It's made from dock leaves (from a sweet variety called Polygonum Bistorta or more recently Persicaria Bistorta not the more common cow dock leaves), nettles, oatmeal, onions, butter and seasoning. Resembling spinach, the pudding is fried together with bacon and eggs and served as part of a traditional English breakfast.

    See below for a traditional and alternate Dock Pudding recipe!

  9. Duke of Wellington's Regiment Museum

    Halifax

    Duke of Wellington's Regiment Museum

    Please note that the Museum will be closing to the public from 20th March until further notice....

    Please note that the Museum will be closing to the public from 20th March until further notice.

    Representing over 300 years of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, since its raising in 1702, this museum tells the stories of the soldiers who served using their own words.

    The ‘Iron Duke’, Arthur Wellesley, was the Colonel of the 33rd which became, after his death, the only Regiment to be named after a person not of the Royal Blood.

    Displays include items relating to the Duke himself and to the rich and varied history of the regiment, including the campaigns of 33rd and 76th foot.

    The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment has a long association with the town of Halifax and its location within Bankfield Museum complements the wider history on display here.

    FREE Admission

  10. eptonstall Octagonal Methodist Chapel

    Heptonstall

    Heptonstall Octagonal Methodist Chapel

    Built in 1764, the design and construction of this Grade II listed Octagonal Chapel were overseen by John Wesley, who frequently preached here. One...
    Built in 1764, the design and construction of this Grade II listed Octagonal Chapel were overseen by John Wesley, who frequently preached here. One of the first octagonal chapels, it is one of the oldest Methodist churches in continuous use today. This unusual octagonal chapel is open every day. It’s tucked away at the bottom of a flight of steps off Northgate. Entry is free, with donations to the upkeep of the Chapel welcome. Please email Circuit Heritage Officer Mr. John Wilson regarding visits and other activities, at chme@calderdalemethodists.org.uk. Methodism in Heptonstall began with the firebrand Scot William Darney. He founded many societies on both sides of the Pennines as he travelled, preaching as he went. The Heptonstall “Darney Society” was visited by Charles and John Wesley in 1747. In these early days, Heptonstall had a preacher every sixth Sunday, with the travelling preachers receiving no stipend or allowance, eating where they could. John Wesley continued to visit Heptonstall and there were always immense crowds to hear him. The society was so successful it was decided to build a chapel. The octagon shape was then fashionable for Methodist preaching houses, as it avoided conflict with the established church. The building was finished in 1764. It was intended to hold 200 people, but by 1802 there were 337 members and over 1000 scholars. The solution was to knock down the far end of the chapel, lengthen the walls and rebuild it, preserving its octagonal shape. Heptonstall is located on The Calderdale Way, a 50 mile walking route that circles the borough of Calderdale. Please call in to visit the Chapel if you're passing by.
  11. Andy Thorntons, Greetland, Halifax

    Greetland

    Andy Thornton Ltd

    The world famous Andy Thornton showroom is open to everyone. A lovingly restored former textile mill in Yorkshire is the ultimate destination for r...
    The world famous Andy Thornton showroom is open to everyone. A lovingly restored former textile mill in Yorkshire is the ultimate destination for restaurateurs, hoteliers, bar owners, designers, developers and home owners looking for something special and unique, that won’t be found anywhere else. We offer thousands of products in ranges including contract furniture, decorative lighting, architectural metalwork, wood carvings and decorative accessories. We also stock the UK’s largest selection of architectural antiques and salvage and have recently launched a complete range of vintage industrial furniture, lighting and retail display fixtures.
  12. Hebden Bridge Town Hall

    Hebden Bridge

    Hebden Bridge Town Hall

    The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge is at the centre of local civic and community life in our Pennine Yorkshire town. We are one of the first towns in Bri...
    The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge is at the centre of local civic and community life in our Pennine Yorkshire town. We are one of the first towns in Britain where the Town Hall is community-owned and managed. Hebden Bridge Community Association Ltd, a member-controlled charitable trust, took over the building from Calderdale Council in April 2010.
  13. The Birchcliffe Centre

    Hebden Bridge

    The Birchcliffe Centre

    Our charity, Pennine Heritage, is extremely sad to announce that the Birchcliffe Centre will be closed t...

    Our charity, Pennine Heritage, is extremely sad to announce that the Birchcliffe Centre will be closed to the public until further notice.

    The Birchcliffe Centre is owned by the charity Pennine Heritage, created as a result of efforts to save the magnificent Birchcliffe Baptist Chapel, which now houses the Centre.

    The Birchcliffe Centre is now an expansive conference, exhibition and events venue. home to the Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, the Hebden Bridge Local History Society, the After Alice Project, and a number of valued tenants.

    The auditorium, mezzanine and yoga studio are all available for hire. All monies received go towards furthering the charitable aims of Pennine Heritage.

  14. Hebden Bridge Picture House

    Hebden Bridge

    Hebden Bridge Picture House

    Hebden Bridge Picture House ia a cinema that is at the very heart of this vibrant town: a 490 seat, multi-functional arts venue, providing a mix...

    Hebden Bridge Picture House ia a cinema that is at the very heart of this vibrant town: a 490 seat, multi-functional arts venue, providing a mix of arthouse and mainstream cinema with a proud committment to community provision. As well as cinema, the picture house offers a variety of live events each year, including concerts and theatre, and is one of the main venues usd for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

  15. Dies used By the Cragg Vale Coiners

    Mytholmroyd

    The Cragg Vale Coiners

    The apparent tranquillity of Mytholmroyd belies a murky past involving an 18th century counterfeiting gang, the ‘Cragg Vale Coiners’. This gang's a...
    The apparent tranquillity of Mytholmroyd belies a murky past involving an 18th century counterfeiting gang, the ‘Cragg Vale Coiners’. This gang's activities were said to be so damaging that they threatened to wreck Britain's currency. David Hartley learnt his trade as an ironworker in Birmingham, before getting into trouble and moving back to Mytholmroyd to escape the authorities. Once returned to his home at Bell House farmhouse (which is now a bed & breakfast accommodation with educational facilities) David used ironworking as a cover to clip or file the edges from gold coins, milling the edges back so the change was all but unnoticeable, and making counterfeit coins from the shavings whilst returning the clipped coins into circulation. David’s activities soon spread to other farms, with families at nearby Hill Top Farm and Keelham Farm soon becoming involved; forming the beginnings of the gang of Cragg Vale Coiners. Local publicans also helped by placing the counterfeit coins into circulation. David Hartley seems to have been an enigmatic leader, becoming known as 'King David' Hartley and the gang’s numbers grew considerably until well over 30 individuals were involved. Rumours of the gang's activities reached the authorities, who sent an excise man named William Deighton to investigate. One of the coiners turned King’s Evidence and betrayed the gang, leading to Hartley's arrest at an Inn in Halifax on 14th October 1769. Hartley's brother Isaac offered £100 to anybody who would kill Deighton. It is alleged that the plotters planned Deighton's murder at an Inn in Mytholmroyd called Barbary's, which is now gone, but was located on the opposite side of the road to the present day Dusty Miller. On November 10th 1769 at Bull Close Lane near Halifax, Deighton was approached by two men, Matthew Normanton and Robert Thomas. Deighton was shot dead, his body also showing signs of having been stamped on. Just days later, the Government offered a reward of £100 for information leading to the arrest of the murderers and a pardon for anybody, bar the killers, who would turn King's Evidence. Over 30 people were subsequently arrested, including 'King David' Hartley, who was sentenced to death on April 6th 1770 and hanged at Tynburn, near York, on April 28th. His body is buried in the graveyard of the village of Heptonstall, above Hebden Bridge. Robert Thomas was acquitted of Deighton's murder, but was later hanged in 1774 for being a highwayman. Matthew Normanton initially fled the authorities, but was later caught and hanged in 1775. Isaac Hartley was never brought to trial due to a lack of evidence and died in 1815, aged 78. Heptonstall Museum has on display some of the original dies used by the Coiners to stamp their gold discs into coins, as well as panels telling more of their story.
  16. Halifax Central Library & Archive

    Halifax

    Halifax Central Library & Archive

    Located on the Square Church site next to the Piece Hall, the new Halifax Central Library & Archive blends with the remains of the church into an i...
    Located on the Square Church site next to the Piece Hall, the new Halifax Central Library & Archive blends with the remains of the church into an iconic external design and striking internal layout. Steps lead up to the Library and to the new fourth gateway of the Piece Hall and access is also be available via a lift, taking people from Square Road to the Library and Archive entrance. The building has an internal lift to all floors. As well as the Piece Hall, the new Library and Archive will also have Square Chapel and the Industrial Museum as neighbours – all combining to create a highly interesting and welcoming destination for residents and visitors. Central Library and Archives services are available six days a week: Monday 9.30am to 6.30pm Tuesday 9.30am to 6.30pm Wednesday 9.30am to 12.30pm Thursday 9.30am to 6.30pm Friday 9.30am to 6.30pm Saturday 9.30am to 4.00pm Sunday CLOSED

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