Halifax History Blog

Halifax Town Crest

Except The Lord Keep the City

The 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 mediaeval rather than ancient, though the town's coat of arms still carries an image of the Saint. Halifax Minster, parts of which go back to the 12th century, has always been dedicated to St John the Baptist. (The church's first organist, in 1765, was William Herschel, who later discovered the planet Uranus.)