Welcome to our Historic Tour of Halifax and surrounding areas

We shall begin our tour by exiting Halifax town centre from the Victoria Theatre. 

As we travel on our tour, there will be links to places of interest for you to view and then re-join the tour. 

These pages will grow over time but will always be under construction because more material can always be added at any time as your knowledge and information is shared.


The map above is from 1835 and there are huge changes to todays map. Some very notable observations are:-

  • Huddersfield Road and Commercial Street didn't even exist at this time.
  • Fountain Street was called Doctor Lane.
  • Stone Trough Brewery/Halifax Building Society was the Grove House Estate.
  • Clare Road was Clare Hall Lane
  • Clare Hall was a house in it's own grounds where Hx Swimming baths now stand.
  • The Shay was a large house in it's own grounds.
  • Caygills Walk appears to be part of where Huddersfield Road is now.

Before the Victoria Theatre even existed this was a view back towards the centre of town. The post office can be seen on this photo behind the fountain. 

Prescott fountain was erected in 1884 in memory of Mrs Cyril Prescott and her daughter Mrs Marian Leigh. This replaced a stone trough which stood here previously. The fountain was moved to King Cross in 1898 (outside the Feathers pub) to make way for the new tramway and then moved again in 1932 to Spring Edge near what is now the Crossley Heath school. This was to make room for road improvements.

The building on the right was Ward's End Hall which was demolished in early 1900s to make way for the bus station which later became the Regal cinema (also ABC cinemas) and which is now 'Maggies' nightclub (previously Jumpin Jack's, The Groove and Chicago's).

This view looks past Prescott fountain and down Horton street. You can see the Prince Albert memorial statue at the end of Wards End.


This building has been the Picture House, Top Rank Bingo and Social Club, Surewin Bingo Hall, Astra 1 + 2 Pictures in 1973 then closing in 1982 before becoming the Coliseum nightclub and Maine Street(upstairs) in 1987. It has remained a nightclub until recently called 'Liquid' and 'ATIK' but has now closed down.

Before the 'Picture House' was built Grove House(above) stood there as part of Grove Estate. There was a group of about 12 springs and wells on the estate that supplied the water to Stone Trough Brewery  before running down Horton Street.


The Commercial Street/Horton Street  junction starts off as Portland Place and continues into Skircoat Road and then eventually becomes Huddersfield Road where it meets Shaw Hill.

Stone Trough Brewery later became ……………..

Ramsdens Brewery before it was demolished and replaced by the Halifax Building Society

(now Lloyds Group)


Demolition of Ramsdens Brewery

Out with the old (Ramsdens) and in with the new (Halifax Building Society).


Now the 'HBOS/Lloyds', but previously the 'Halifax Building Society', which was the biggest in the world.

Electric Theatre is now a Bowling Alley and Snooker Hall (Electric Bowl)

Electric Cinema, at one time was Halifax Riding School but converted to a cinema which opened on the 30th July 1910.The cinema closed on 29th September 1956 and became a snooker club and a bowling alley.


This was Halifax Unemployment Exchange. Prior to March, 1928 the exchange was housed in a building in King Cross Street until this was built on Crown land for a cost of £12,000 and built in a style widely adopted for employment exchanges.


County Court due to be turned into a home for people with learning disabilities.

Procession for the unveiling of the war memorial at Belle View in 1922

Freemasons parading to lay the foundation stone for the Halifax Royal Infirmary, June, 1893.
The location of the photo is Skircoat Road, Halifax with the Clare Hall Mansion in the background (right).
Photo by courtesy of Steve Gee

Halifax West Riding Court House at the corner of Huddersfield Road and Prescott Street. These were the headquarters of the West Morley Division of the West Riding Constabulary. 

The building, which bears the date 1889, housed police offices, cells, two courts and the Magistrate's Clerk's office, and on the top side of the premises, facing into Prescott Street, was the residence of the Superintendent of Police. A previous court house existed in Harrison Road, being opened 30 years before this one.


Read about Prescott Street and Harrison Road >>>>>>>>

This became Clare Hall School and more recently transformed into living apartments.

This was the original Clare Hall, home to Halifax Swimming baths, Direct Discounts and a petrol filling station.

The old Halifax West Riding Court House can be seen on the left and Ramsdens at the rear.

Clare Hall Bowling green

Halifax YMCA can be seen at the end of the picture above this too. This was below Clare Hall.


Caygills Walk was basically the ancient Huddersfield Road


Prince Albert Memorial which now stands on Heath Road opposite the Bus Garage but once stood at the Horton Street/Southgate junction


Halifax Tram Station


Elmwood Bus Garage

Halifax County Borough Control Sub - Area Control

Built in 1921 underneath what was the Tram depot but now Halifax Bus Garage it included a brick vaulted basement running under three of the depot bays and the external yard. The basement was roughly triangular in shape consisting of five parallel vaulted tunnels, each one slightly longer than its neighbour. The three longer tunnels (under the depot) had a stairway into the tram bays above. The two shorter tunnels under the yard were accessed by a single stairway at one side. There is a cross corridor linking the tunnels. Read more


Go to Shaw Hill >>>>>


Spring Hall - built in 1871 on land owned by the Holdsworth family, it has had many functions eg. intended purchase as a railway goods yard (never used), a hospital/convalescent home during WW1, a guest house for JH Whitleys' business associates, a sports facility. It was presented to the town in 1948 since which it has been a school sports ground, home for the Northern Ballet Theatre and the council register office.

Just around the corner from what was the 'Stafford Arms'.


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