The Folly, built in 1679, is the Yorkshire Dales’ only Grade I listed historic house regularly open to the public. It is home to the Museum of North Craven Life, which tells fascinating tales of the people and landscape of the local area. The Museum has four permanent exhibitions. The Hall shows off the magnificent offices of Richard Preston, lawyer and landowner, the builder of The Folly. The Parlour houses a beautifully presented exhibition of Settle’s changing townscape. The Parlour Chamber is packed with detail about how people have lived and worked in North Craven since prehistoric times. On the top floor is the Settle-Carlisle Railway Room which tells the story of this historic railway, including the building of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. These are complimented by a range of temporary exhibitions which change throughout the year. Our 2020 exhibitions include: Kill or Cure, which explores the history of healthcare in the local area, highlighting some historical healthcare heroes. The Lottery of Life tells the stories of real 19th century Settle residents, accompanied by an online game. Finally, we have Re… an exhibition in three parts about heritage, photography and the work of local photographer Tom Faulkner. We have lots of fun activities to keep kids of all ages entertained, including dressing up, objects to handle and a free-to-borrow Explorer Pack to get kids excited about museums. We run dedicated family friendly activities throughout school holidays. Please check our website for details. Visit The Folly today and discover our fascinating museum, with its packed programme of exhibitions and events, enjoy a delicious drink, home baked cake or afternoon tea in our Coffee House and buy hand-picked work by Yorkshire makers in our Artisans’ Gallery shop.
Open 11am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday from February to December. We will reopen in August 2020.
Adult annual pass: £5 Full time students: £2 Children under 16: Free NHS and care workers: Free
- National Art Pass
- Museums Association
From the Settle market place, with the Town Hall on your right hand side, walk towards HSBC, carry on along this road (staying on the left hand pavement if you are walking) past the library to your right towards Neil Wright & Associates, Estate Agents. When you reach this Estate Agents the Folly is on your left.
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Facilities and services
- Baby changing facilities
- Meeting room available
- Facilities for private functions and events
- Wheelchair access to some public areas
- Toilets for disabled
- Licensed bar
- Dogs welcome
- Wi-fi available
Wheelchair access is via the back of the building, to the right of the main entrance. We regret that only the ground and first floors are presently wheelchair accessible. We hope in the future to be able to install a lift allowing access to the top floor. Dogs are welcome in the Coffee House and ground floor only, besides service dogs.
- Guided tours
- Membership and/or Friends scheme offered
- Pre-booking service for groups
- Volunteering scheme offered
- Activities for pre-school children
- Events and resources for children and families
- Regular children's club
- North Yorkshire
- Social History
- British History
- Architecture and Design
- Artist's Statement
- Country crafts
- Built heritage
- listed building
- Historic House (built heritage)
- Rural heritage (built heritage)
- local history
- 20th Century
- 21st Century
- Contemporary (British History)
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