Discover Halifax’s heritage

Halifax Heritage Festival is back, giving visitors a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the town’s grand, heritage buildings and the chance to find out more about its fascinating history.

Running alongside the national Heritage Open Days, the Halifax Heritage Festival is coordinated by Halifax Business Improvement District and runs until Sunday 22 September.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:

“We’re lucky in Calderdale to have such a wealth of impressive heritage destinations, all contributing to the area’s distinctive character.

“The Halifax Heritage Festival will showcase some of these wonderful buildings, with special access, fascinating events and guided tours bringing the history of the town to life.

“Many of the events on offer are free, so they can be enjoyed by everyone – this includes special access to Shibden Hall.”

Many Council buildings featured in the festival will be opening their doors for events throughout September.

On Thursday 12 and Friday 13 September there’s the chance for visitors to see inside the Grade II* listed Halifax Town Hall with free guided tours at 11.30am and 2pm.

The impressive building was designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament and was voted one of the Top 10 town halls in the country by Architect Today magazine.

Also on Friday 13 September, the Friends of the Victoria Theatre invite you to join them for a tour of the Halifax theatre. Visitors can learn about its history, how it’s changed over the years, how it’s run and some of the famous and unusual artists who have appeared there. Tours cost £3 per person and can be booked at the theatre box office or online at link)

Events are taking place at Halifax Central Library and Archives from Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 September, with illustrated talks and hands-on workshops on offer. To see all the events taking place, call into the library or visit link). Be quick though, as some events are already sold out.

Also likely to be popular are the free tours of Bankfield Museum, which are taking place on Friday 20 September at 11am and 2pm. Visitors will be guided around the Victorian mansion, originally built as the home for philanthropist and MP, Colonel Edward Akroyd and now home to fascinating exhibitions – currently including costumes from the television series, Gentleman Jack.

Fans of Gentleman Jack can also visit the home of its protagonist, Anne Lister, with special free access to Shibden Hall. The attraction will be free to enter on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. This event is expected to be very popular, and entry will be for advance tickets only due to limited numbers. Timed entry tickets are only available at link) (search for Shibden Hall). Please book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information about all the events taking place as part of Halifax Heritage Festival, visit link) or link).

Showcasing Halifax’s heritage features supports the Vision2024 for Calderdale to stand out and be known – distinctiveness is one of the Vision’s key themes. In the year 2024, Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? How will the Calderdale of 2024 be different from the place it is now? What ambitions do we share? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit

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