Halifax Town Hall picked as one of the best - and all it cost was £50,000!

HALIFAX Town Hall has been chosen as one of the 10 most spectacular in Britain.

The historic building – a landmark since it opened in 1863 – won praise for its architecture and lavish interiors.

Judges also acknowledged its beautiful mosaic flooring, ornate plasterwork, grand paintings and stained-glass roof.

A judge from Architecture Today magazine, which compiled the listings, said: "The architect Charles Barry's design is classical, but so richly ornamental that it recalls his better-known gothic Houses of Parliament."

Mayor of Calderdale Conrad Winterburn welcomed the accolade, saying: "Halifax Town Hall is truly iconic and rightly deserves a place in this list.

"We are committed to keeping it at the heart of Halifax's heritage and keeping it in tip-top condition.

"I urge anybody who has not seen the building to come along and take a look around."

The town hall, which cost 50,000, was started by Sir Charles Barry and completed by his son E.M Barry. It was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in front of 100,000 people.

The majority of the stone carving was by John Thomas, who had also worked on sculptures for the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.


Charles Barry was born in London in 1795.

In 1824 he won his first major commission, the Royal Institution in Manchester which later became the Art Gallery.

He developed the Treasury in Whitehall.

When the Palace of Westminster burned down, his design was chosen by the public – it's now the Houses of Parliament.

When the Commons opened in 1852, MPs said the ceilings were too high and Barry had to lower them.