Halifax Piece Hall, the cloth hall was where the trading of the woollen cloth pieces was done. Opened on January 1, 1779, it was only open for business for two hours on a Saturday morning, and contained 315 merchant trading rooms. After the mechanisation of the cloth industry, the Piece Hall was and continues to be used as a public market. The former Calderdale Industrial Museum (now closed) was housed within the Piece Hall. In winter 2006-07 the Piece Hall hosted an outdoor temporary ice rink.
The towns name Halifax is said to be a corruption of the Old English words for Holy and Face, part of the local legend that the head of John the Baptist was buried here after his execution. The legend is almost certainly medieval rather than ancient, though the town's coat of arms still carries an image of the saint.