A sneak peak into Hal­i­fax’s history

Halifax Courier - - Yourcourier - By El­iz­a­beth Archer

Illegal cock fight­ing, an in­fa­mous gang, and a ‘street in the sky’ are just some of the history which will be re­vealed to the public dur­ing the Her­itage Fes­ti­val this Septem­ber. From Septem­ber 10 to 13, visi­tors can go be­hind the scenes at land­marks such as Illing­worth Gaol and The Piece Hall to dis­cover Hal­i­fax’s che­quered past.

One event which looks set to draw crowds is the Hid­den Gems Tour, which takes visi­tors to land­marks like Bor­ough Mar­ket’s ‘street in the sky’ and a dis­used cock-fight­ing ring at the town’s old­est pub

Adrian Rose, one of the tour’s or­gan­is­ers and the coun­cil’s for­mer re­gen­er­a­tion man­ager, said: “This is the third year we’ve run the tours and each year they be­come more pop­u­lar.

“Lo­cal peo­ple find that there are a num­ber of in­ter­est­ing points in Hal­i­fax they never knew ex­isted.

“This year it’s a spe­cial treat to be able to go in­side The Piece Hall and see the work in progress.”

Another fas­ci­nat­ing his­tor­i­cal in­sight on of­fer at the fes­ti­val will be the open­ing of Illing­worth Gaol, a for­mer jail built to ac­com­mo­date a surge of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the 1800s.

David Parkin, of North Hal­i­fax His­toric Build­ings Preser­va­tion Trust, said: “It ap­pears that the gaol was built with an usu­ally large num­ber of cells in an­tic­i­pa­tion of catch­ing the Oven­den Gang, a group of no­to­ri­ous theives.”

Visi­tors are urged to book Hid­den Gems Tours in ad­vance on the Min­ster web­site.

Visi­tors will see be­hind the scenes at the Piece Hall trans­for­ma­tion

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