The Arcade Royale, Halifax

The Arcade Royale was a covered shopping arcade – originally called King's Arcade and built on a site formerly known as South Place. It ran parallel to King Edward Street between Commercial Street and Southgate. It opened on 5th October 1912.

It was built for Halifax developer, Walter Midgley, and was designed by local architects Clement Williams & Sons, who decided to use marmo for the frontage, a white glazed stone that resembled marble.

Midgley wanted to call his venture The Royal Arcade but the council did not like this, so he came up with the name Arcade Royale as an alternative.

An important feature of the new development was the large and lavish billiards hall in the basement of the building. This was 75 feet square and panelled in oak with green tiles. The hall was decorated with large specially-painted scenic pictures of Venice, each 30 feet long. There was space for 16 tables.

The manager was T. Haws.

For many years, the hall was operated by one of the North's leading billiards entrepreneurs, Heyes of Preston. The hall was popular and remained in use up to the 1930s.

Tenants have included

In 1936, the tenants included

In 1949, Halifax Council bought the arcade – with many of the original tenants – and the adjacent Post Office buildings.

It was originally a number of small shops with a central arcade, until 1951 when it was taken over by the Halifax Co-operative Society. The arcade offered a covered walkway from Southgate to Commercial Street until 1978. In 1967, the central arcade disappeared and the whole became a single large store.

In Summer 1999, the Halifax Co-operative Society sold the store.

In 2001, the upper floor was converted into flats, and the street level was subdivided into smaller retail units and – of course – a pub – variously known as the Goose at the Arcade and The Duke of Wellington [2012]

See Post Office Chambers, Halifax

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 5631

Page Ref: MMA59

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