Until the publication of the first edition of Dr John A. Hargreaves's acclaimed history of Halifax in 1999,
no full-length history of the town had been published, explaining the complex process by which 'a few straggling
tenements built of wood, wattles and thatch' in the late medieval period developed into 'a town of a hundred trades'
by the late Victorian era, and then became in the twentieth century the home of one of the largest UK financial institutions.
This book explores the transformation of Halifax from a remote Pennine settlement into a thriving commercial centre.
The author asks how, when and why did such a transformation occur. Was it the product of the major economic and social
changes which the town experienced from the late eighteenth century? Or was it stimulated by an earlier phase of
commercial expansion before the Industrial Revolution? How did geography and environment shape Halifax's urban growth?
How did the experience of rapid industrial expansion followed by dramatic decline affect the development of the town?
Perhaps most importantly, he considers how the experience of history has impacted upon the lives of those who live in
Enthusiastically welcomed by both professional historians and the general reader, for its lively, engaging style and
authoritative treatment of its subject, the first edition of this new history of Halifax quickly went out of print.
Now fully revised to take account of Halifax's continuing development in the twenty-first century, the vastly augmented
text has been supplemented by many additional illustrations.