Rescue and Restoration

The North Craven Building Preservation Trust (NCBPT) purchased the central and south ranges of The Folly in 1996 aided by a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund and grants from Heritage Lottery Fund and Yorkshire Forward. The aim was to restore the building and open it to the public as a historic house and a new home for the Museum of North Craven Life.

Next began the complex and time-consuming task of raising match funding from a range of sources to enable restoration and conversion to begin. By early 2000, sufficient grant aid had been secured and building work started in June 2000.

Between June 2000 and March 2001, substantial repairs were carried out to the fabric and structure of the building, including the strengthening of beams and the laying of new oak floors. Modern partitions were removed. Original blue slate flags were uncovered on the ground floor, enabling earlier levels to be restored and wheelchair access improved.

The building welcomed its first visitors in July 2001 and in December 2001 the central and south ranges of The Folly were opened by King Charles III, then HRH The Prince of Wales.

The north range was acquired by NCBPT in 2010 with help from a loan from Unity Trust Bank. Since then, an extensive programme of repair and conservation work has been carried out. An existing holiday let on the ground floor was retained until the end of 2016, at which time it was converted into the Folly Coffee House and opened to the public in June 2017. The upper floors of the north range, which had been used as a domestic residence until purchased by the Trust, are currently used as stores and offices, but plans are being developed to restore this area of the building and make it accessible to the public.