The Waterhouse charity school occupies a handsome set of buildings forming three sides of a quadrangle, erected in 1855.
In 1635 the king granted the inhabitants of Halifax licence to found a workhouse in a large house given to them for that purpose by Nathaniel Waterhouse, and incorporated them under the name of the master and governors.
Nathaniel Waterhouse was appointed the first master, his successors being elected every year by the twelve governors from among themselves.
In 1607 David Waterhouse, lord of the manor of Halifax, obtained a grant of two markets there every week on Friday and Saturday and two fairs every year, each lasting three days, one beginning on the 24th of June, the other on the 11th of November.
Later these fairs and markets were confirmed with the addition of an extra market on Thursday to Sir William Ayloffe, baronet, who had succeeded David Waterhouse as lord of the manor.