Previous exhibitions

  The Lottery of Life In 19th Century Settle (15 February – 20 March) Curated by Sarah Lister and using her research into the Holy Ascension Graveyard in Settle, follow our trail to discover the fate of some of Settle’s Victorian residents.

Curiosity: Treasures and Tales from the Museum Collections (15 February – 20 March) Continuing to put more of our rarely-seen objects on display and telling their many curious stories.


Settle Stocks in the Museum of North Craven Life

Curiosity: Treasures and Tales from the Museum Collection (15 February – 22 December) Putting more of our rarely-seen objects on display and telling their many curious stories. Includes ten hidden objects in the Gentleman’s Study, challenging you to find them.


Memento Mori: Curious Tales from the ‘Ancient’ Graveyard (15 February – 15 May) Created in partnership with Sarah Lister using her research into the Holy Ascension Burial Ground in Settle, we unearth some curious tales of some of the fascinating people interred there.


Anthology of Silence (21 May – 14 July) Developed in partnership with the Craven First World War Project, this beautiful exhibition tells of the impacts of the First World War on nine Craven families through visual art, poetry and photography.

Ribblehead viaduct under construction

Making Tracks (17 Jul- 13 October) Created in partnership with the Settle Carlisle Railway, weaving the weft of human stories onto the warp of the history of the Settle to Carlisle Railway, looking at those who lived and worked along the line and some of the people who continue to do so.


Kill or Cure: Medicine, Midwives and Mercury (17 October – 22 December) 350 years of medicine and the human obsession with living and dying; from get rich quick cures to the role of midwives.

Parlour exhibitions



Rainbow over Winskill, North Yorkshire - photograph by John bentley  

Settle Through The Lens (15 March – 15 May)
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. A fascinating insight into the subjects that the Settle Photographic Group consider curious in this selling exhibition.

Gallery on the Green, Upper Settle, North Yorkshire (repurposed telephone kiosk)  

10 Years of the Gallery on the Green (7 July – 6 September)

Probably the smallest gallery in the world celebrates its tenth anniversary and Cultivating Settle would like to invite you to come and see what the last ten years has meant to them and the international body of artists who have exhibited there.


Settle Hydro (10 September – 22 December) Detailing the history of Bridge End Mill in Settle and the construction of its pioneering and award-winning community renewable energy powerhouse.

Woollen picture of The Folly made by the Crafty Knitters of Settle

Knitted Settle  In between our temporary exhibitions, you can see the exquisite works of fabric art by the Crafty Knitters of Settle, featuring local buildings, including The Folly.

Staircase exhibitions




Waymarks: A Printmaker’s Perspective of The Dales with Hester Cox (1 March – 24 May)

Hester Cox is a printmaker based in North Yorkshire. Her stunning work is created using collagraph, relief, carborundum and photopolymer prints.


Our Northern Hills with Frank Gordon (15 February -30 June) Frank Gordon is a long-established landscape painter living in the Yorkshire Dales. His beautiful and ethereal paintings capture the extraordinarily beautiful character of the land.



Stuart Brocklehurst, Printmaker (1 July – 30 September) Award-winning artist and printmaker Stuart presents his astonishing work in linocut, mezzotint and drypoint.


Spotlight exhibitions


The Folly (15 February – 29 March) Our very own Folly has a curious and interesting past and this small exhibition uncovers some of the mysteries of this beautiful building.


Rediscovering our Religion (1 April – 10 May). Two of The Folly’s young volunteers create a fascinating exhibition looking at faiths in North Yorkshire, from pagan origins to present day.


The Great Silence (13 May – 14 July) The immeasurable impact of war on ordinary lives is sensitively told in this lovely exhibition created by our volunteers.


The Great Auk (18 July – 15 September) Artist Philippa Troutman and poet Phoebe Caldwell tell the story of the chilling decimation of the Great Auk through art, sculpture and poetry.


Temperance (19 September – 17 November) The Habitual Drunkards Act was passed 140 years ago to control intoxication and this small exhibition will look at the Temperance Movement in Craven.


Ghosts of Christmas Past (21 November – 22 December) How Christmas went from being banned to being celebrated in excess. Part of our Yuletide Celebrations.

Sheep shearing (Museum-of-Lakeland-Life-and-Industry2002_7_161.jpg)  

Back in Settle: Farms, Flags, Forges (1 March – 24 June) Focusing on the area’s farming, quarrying, and associated Dales occupations, comparing practices carried out today with those of the past and giving visitors the chance to spot people from their own past, and share their recollections.

  Challenge and Change (1 March – 29 April) follows 350 Years in the life of The Folly and its region: the changes with the first local bank appearing in Settle in 1791; the challenge of improving the local road networks so that goods (and people) could be transported in larger quantities and greater distances; the changes for local properties with the Great Rebuilding following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 and many more. The exhibition chronicles the abilities of our local communities to adapt and survive.
Woollen picture of The Folly made by the Crafty Knitters of Settle   Crafty Knitters (1 March – 22 December). On show for another season, panels by the Crafty Knitters group depicting Settle buildings, including The Folly.
  Voices from the Land (1 May – 8 July) Photographs, audio recordings and writing sharing the lives and practices of Dales farmers today. What does it take to work this harsh land? What has changed in the last 50 years and how does the future look? Based on work collected over ten months on farms and at shows and sales by Rob and Harriet Fraser and a team of volunteers. On loan from The Dales Countryside Museum.
  1918: The Long Last Mile (26 June – 22 December) How the lives of the people of North Craven were affected by the Great War in 1918, as part of a series of exhibitions in the “Craven and the First World War Project” funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Life and Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales - book jacket   ‘Life and Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales’ (10 July – 22 December) Celebrating 50 years since the original publication of this important work by iconic Dales authors Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby that captured the last days of a disappearing way of life, with original notes, photographs, sketches and artefacts giving a glimpse into the everyday lives of Dales people. On loan from the Dales Countryside Museum, founded in 1979 thanks to the authors’ foresight and passion for collecting.
  The End of an Era: 200 Years of Zion Chapel (11 April – 2 July) told the remarkable story of Zion Chapel, built in 1816 in Upper Settle, and of a group of people who have been at the heart of community life in the town for the best part of 200 years. Zion closed in 2015, when the Chapel Trustees kindly donated their entire archive to The Folly.
  Back in Settle: Pastimes in Past Times (11 April – 24 September) Curated by a team from the Back in Settle Facebook group, telling stories of people – old friends, workmates, local characters – and of places and how they’ve changed or disappeared.
Front cover of the Nuvic programme advertising "A Grand Concert"   1917: Mud and Misery (4 July – 29 October) looked at how the lives of the people of North Craven were affected by the Great War in 1917 as part of our involvement in the “Craven and the First World War Project” funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 1917 was dominated by the dreadful battles of Arras and Passchendaele. The exhibition followed the fortunes of two local battalions – the 6th and 10th Battalions of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, both of which played their part in those battles and the many local lads who lost their lives in 1917.
  Tom Twisleton 100 (26 September – 29 October) A collaboration with Settle Stories to celebrate the centenary of Tom Twisleton. Born into a Craven farming family, Tom was a popular local dialect poet and a well known figure in the temperance movement.
  1916: Chronicles of Courage (22 March – 30 Octobe) The third in our series of World War I exhibitions for the HLF project ‘Craven and the First World War’.
1916 was a momentous year, with battles fought off Jutland and on the Somme, in which the people of Craven played their part with great courage – the year in which Conscription was introduced and Conscientious Objectors stood up for their beliefs. Installations include a section of trench and a regimental first-aid post.
Photograph of Church Street, Settle by Anthony Horner, late 19th century.   Back in Settle (22 March – 5 June) An exhibition inspired by the Facebook group set up in 2013 by Mick Harrison to share stories and old photographs from the Settle area, many previously hidden in family albums.
Ceiling rose, Zion Chapel   The End of an Era: 200 Years of Zion Chapel (7 June – 30 October) The remarkable story of Zion Chapel, built in 1816 into the steep hillside of Upper Settle, with one of the most stunning views in the town. Its congregation stood at the heart of community life for the best part of 200 years until its closure in 2015.
  1915: Reality Hits Home (31 March – 31 August) continued our series of exhibitions on World War I theme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, looking at life on the home front in North Craven and daily life for the men and women serving abroad. Focusing on gas attacks and the role of the military padres in raising morale, we told the stories of two remarkable local men: Bertram Lambert, who invented the gas box respirator and Revd. Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC, MC, DSO of Bentham and Hutton Roof, who was the most highly decorated non-combatant in WWI.
  A Community Skill: the Story of Burton-in-Lonsdale’s Potteries (31 March – 1 November) Showcasing the museum’s superb collection of Burton-in-Lonsdale pottery and explored the reasons for the development of the industry in Burton.
  Textil/Juvel: Contemporary Craft from West Sweden (15 September – 1 November) Curated by Chrysalis Arts and developed with Konsthantverkscentrum, the development agency for crafts in West Sweden, which represents over 800 makers. The exhibition showcased works in textile and jewellery from makers inspired by the natural environment in material, form or theme.
  Make it slow (15 April – 29 June) Inspired by six of the UK’s leading craft makers, whose message is that the traditional processes which lie behind their art can’t be hurried! Fearoring work by Aimee Betts, Sharon Adams, Fenella Elms, Lizzie Farey, Chris Keenan and Misun Won.
  War Beckons (1 July – 2 November) How the people of North Craven prepared for war in 1914. (Press release).
  Journeys Through a Family Archive (1 July – 2 November) Exploring how the Rileys of Settle meticulously recorded and communicated the details of their everyday lives, work, travels and achievements through writing, drawing and photography over nearly 80 years. Frederic Riley was the author of several definitive full-length books on this area of Yorkshire, including his most ambitious work The Ribble from its Source to the Sea, published in 1914. (Press release)
Painting of the Ribblehead Viaduct   The Saving of the Settle Carlisle Railway: to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the saving of the Settle-Carlisle line, the permanent displays in the railway room were enhanced by an exhibition of work by the Settle-Carlisle’s artist-in-residence, Sarah Hutton and photographer-in-residence, Simon Whalley, together with a case of personal railway memorabilia collected by the late Derek Soames, who worked on the line for over 50 years.
  A Journey Through Bowland (2 October – 2 November 2014) 50 photographs celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the Forest of Bowland as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Poster)
  Victoria Cave Revisited (26 March – 7 July) (retained from previous season)
  Climb up to the Moor (26 March – 7 July) Paintings by Judith Bromley and Robert Nichols
  Family Stories: 150 Years of Discovery with the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (9 July – 3 November)
  Off the Page: the Story of the Dalesman Magazine (3 April – 1 July) tells the story of the country’s best-selling regional magazine through the work of its many talented artists, writers and photographers. An array of magazine covers reflect changing styles and the development of production techniques down the years. The first full colour page to appear in Dalesman was adorned by a Fred Lawson watercolour entitled The River Yore (1946). 
  Portraits by Sam Dalby (3 April – 1 July) Local artist Sam grew up in Austwick and is steadily gaining recognition for his work, having exhibited at the 2003 BP Portrait Award in London and with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2010 and 2011. This retrospective of ten years’ work includes drawings and paintings of members of the local community, studies of family and friends and charcoal drawings that reflect his growing interest in traditional drawing techniques.
  Victoria Cave Revisited (3 July – 28 October) Charting the fascinating history of Victoria Cave from its rediscovery in Victorian times to the work of the Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation.
  Time to Celebrate (3 July – 28 October) To celebrate Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II’ s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics this exhibition extend our celebrations to cover such diverse subjects as peace, families, the local communities of North Craven, past and present.’Time to Celebrate’ looks at some of the ways in which local communities celebrate and mark special occasions.
  3xNorber: Photographs, paintings and poems (1 June – 28 October) Showcasing the work of artist Peter Osborne, poet Elizabeth Burns and photographer Paul Rogers and the different ways in which they respond to the Norber erratics, a well-known feature in the landscape above the village of Austwick
Haymaking at Calf Cop, c 1900   Challenge and Change: 350 Years in the Life of A House and its Region (19 April – 30 October)
Exploring the history of The Folly over the past 350 years against the backdrop of what was happening in North Craven and further afield during the same period. The exhibition considers some of the ways in which The Folly itself and North Craven as a whole have responded and are continuing to respond to change – both good and bad – over the best part of four centuries. Topics include markets and fairs, family business, agriculture, travel and building development.
  A Malham Family of Painters: Constance Pearson, Philippa Holmes, Katharine Holmes (30 March – 27 July) An exhibition originated by the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds, promoted in conjunction with the Bowland Arts Festival. Paintings by three generations of women from a Yorkshire family: Katharine Holmes (b. 1962) the youngest of the three is the daughter of Philippa Holmes (1921-1999), the daughter of Constance Pearson (1886-1970). Katharine is known for her atmosphere and weather filled paintings of her native Dales landscape.
(Press release).
  Landscapes of the Ribble (31 July – 31 October) Photographs from Andy Latham’s acclaimed book, “Landscapes of the Ribble“. Andy is a professional photographer, based in Bolton. Following the Ribble from the heights of the Yorkshire Dales, through the lush Ribble Valley and out to the sea at Lytham St. Anne’s, his photographs capture the beauty and variety of this wonderful landscape.
(Press release).
  Water in North Craven: Life, Work and Leisure (31 July – 31 October) Illustrating the great influence of water on all aspects of the life of our area. Exhibits include an 1831 map of Settle’s first piped water supply, documents and photographs relating to the construction of the Upper Reservoir, old photographs from the Riley and Horner Collections depicting angling, skating, caving, swimming and rambling, and a display devoted to washing and sanitation.
Image of water by Rodney Dinnen   Water Works (31 July – 31 October) 25 images on the theme of water selected by members of the Settle Photographic Group, resulting in a wide range of interpretations.
  Archive Alive! (7 April – 23 June) Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Archive Alive! project ran from June 2008 to June 2009 at the Museum of North Craven Life, culminating in an exhibition to celebrate the wealth of fascinating material contained in our local archive collections and the innovative projects which they have inspired. More material from the “Celebrating North Craven Past and Present” exhibition is available on the Archive Alive project page.
  Sheep – From Lamb to Loom (27 June – 4 August) is the result of three years of fieldwork by artist Kate Lynch as she followed seven sheep-farming families in Somerset and Devon with her sketchbook. She chronicles the sheep and wool at market, in the tannery and in the workshops of wool graders, spinners and weavers. Alastair Goolden accompanied Kate, recording sounds and voices. The resulting collection of Kate’s charcoal sketches and oil paintings with Alastair’s textured sound installation, evokes the working lives of shepherds, artisans and craftspeople and is a celebration of our age-old relationship with sheep. Complementary Yorkshire displays were provided by Lawkland Young Farmers, Skipton Auction Mart and the Wool Marketing Board. Local businesses provided examples of how wool is used commercially.
  Some sheep are on the pitch … (8 August – 27 October) An exhibition curated by Allan Cawood to celebrate the centenary of the Craven Football Association.
  Printlink: Craven Artists (14 November – 13 December) profiles the work of five printmakers (Chris Murray, Alec Pearson, Helen Peyton, Tony Stephenson and Philippa Troutman) all living and working in the Craven District of North Yorkshire. Inspired by the geographical connections between the Printlink artists from Skipton to Ribblehead, Middleton to Appletreewick, the physical links between these locations, including the Pennine Way and the railways and canals with their heritage and history, are reflected in the exhibition.
  Annie Farrer: Plant Forms on Paper – A Fresh Approach (21 March – 6 May) Annie Farrer, one of the country’s foremost botanical artists, grew up in Clapham. Annie began experimenting with different techniques and methods of working and her Folly exhibition provided a first opportunity to see some of her new work.
(Press release) (Yorkshire Post review) (Dalesman review)
  Farm Buildings in the Forest of Bowland (10 May – 28 October) Slaidburn Village Archive and the Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group visited and recorded the history of farm buildings around the Hodder Valley. The exhibition included illustrations of some historic farmsteads around Settle and Bentham, and farm implements from our collections and those of Heritage Trust for the North West.
  Photographs from the Horner Collection (10 May – 28 October) 24 large scale photographs from the Horner Collection on loan from the Craven Museum, together with further examples donated by the Horner family, portraying events, landscapes, buildings and people in North Craven, spanning a period of about 100 years. Exhibition dedicated to the memory of Ken Jelley, a greatly-valued Folly volunteer and highly-accomplished photographer who took over the Horners’ business in 1961 and ran it until his retirement in 1997.
  Elgar in Craven (6 April – 23 October) Honouring the composer’s 150th birthday and his 50-year friendship with Dr Charles Buck of Settle, who played host to Elgar’s numerous visits to the Dales.
  Settle College Centenary (6 April – 23 October) commemorating the centenary of Settle College, tracing its development from the early beginnings, through the years of Girls’ High and Mixed Comprehensive Schools to its present status of Technology College. The displays cover a wide range of themes and include much early material as well as contributions from current students.
  Settle Orchestra 40th anniversary: Memories from the last 40 years (6 April – 23 October) Photographs, concert programmes and other memorabilia marking the 40th anniversary of the Settle Orchestral Society.
  Connections: artists and writers in North Craven (6 March – 31 October) Featuring artists and writers inspired by or associated with the area. Included are famous names from previous generations, such as Turner and Ruskin, alongside well-known 20th century and contemporary artists. Writers are represented by Charles Kingsley, Laurence Binyon and the dialect poems of Tom Twisleton. Includes displays on the literary and artistic connections of Malhamdale and Masongill and on the Dalesman magazine. Clapham Art Group is also highlighted, with examples of members’ work from every decade since the Group’s foundation in the late 1940s.
  The Shanties of Ribblehead (19 November – 10 December) A solo exhibition of prints, drawings and text by artist  Philippa Troutman.
  On the Home Front: North Craven in Wartime (6 April – 30 September) Marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, bringing together records of the amazing contribution made by local people to the war effort especially the Warships and Wings for Victory weeks. 
  Stitching the Story: the making of the Airton Tapestry (6 April – 30 September) Celebrating the achievement of a group of local people from the Malhamdale village of Airton who in 2004 commemorated the 300th anniversary of the building of their Quaker Meeting House by producing a skilfully embroidered panel which portrays people and events in Airton’s Quaker history.
    Art Connections (May – June, weekends only) In association with the North Yorkshire Open Studios scheme in May and June, The Folly hosted a selling exhibition of work by a range of professional artists and makers from across the county.
  The Family Business in North Craven: a Century of Service (1 May –  31 October) The story of how family businesses occupied a position at the heart of the local community, and were still largely self-supporting until the mid-20th century. Using photographs, advertising material, objects and other memorabilia, discover the huge range of goods made available within walking distance of home – anything from a houseful of furniture to a bag of sugar! 

Education in Malhamdale, 1400-2003 (1 May –  31 October) Tracing the history of education in the dale from the early chantry school in Kirkby Malham church to the present. Some eight schools have operated in the Dale during that time, including endowed schools, a subscription school, a board school, a provided school, and a voluntary aided school.

  Reginald Farrer: Father of Rock Gardening (1 May – 30 August) The remarkable life and achievements of Reginald Farrer, who lived at Ingleborough Hall, Clapham and introduced many new plants into cultivation from his Far Eastern expeditions.
  Celia King & Ruth Pavla Davey: painting and sculpture (5 Auust – 30 September) Celia has lived and worked locally for many years and her mixed media paintings reflect her passion for nature and the sea. Ruth lives and works in Cumbria and her special interest in sacred art has led her to explore ways of expressing a sense of spirit and timelessness through the human figure. 
  Lillian Clark: a life of painting (November – weekends only)

Lillian Clark (1899-2003) devoted much of her spare time to recording in watercolour the landscape and plant life of her native Yorkshire Dales. She lived most of her life in Ribble Terrace, Settle, and trained as a teacher at Bingley College. Lillian was one of the earliest members of the Clapham Art Group, exhibiting every May for more than 50 years.

  Jubilee Celebrations in the 20th century
  Settle Primary School, 1856-2002
  Burton-in-Lonsdale Pottery (1 July – 30 September)
  ‘Sight of a Lifetime’ : the 1927 Solar Eclipse (1 July – 30 September)