The Museum contains the following permanent exhibitions:
On the Ground Floor, there are two rooms, the Hall (as you enter) and the Parlour
In the Hall are:
In the Parlour are:
On the first floor there are three rooms
On the second floor are two rooms:
On the staircase walls is mounted a superb collection of Victorian photographic portraits of local people, printed from the original glass plates by the late Mr Harold Walker and displayed by kind permission of Mr & Mrs John Walker.
The Settle-Carlisle Railway: Scenes from the Line
The permanent display of the Settle-Carlisle railway was created in 2004, and was updated in 2012. The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle line (http://www.foscl.org.uk/) journal published a two-page article in its May 2012 edition (Number 128, pages 28-29) about the exhibition which is reproduced here with permission of and thanks to The Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line: article (pdf, 2.4Mb)
The Settle Carlisle display was substantially updated and increased in autumn 2012 by Nigel Musset.
Press release: 1 Mar 2013 Opening of Settle-Carlisle Railway Exhibition at The Folly (1.3Mb)
The new display panels are available as a large download file: PDF (80Mb); more work will done to present the panels more easily.
The exhibition has a 4mm scale model of Settle Station in Midland Railway days. The model was bequeathed to the Museum of North Craven Life in 1991 by the family of the late Mr. Norman Wilkinson, who constructed it over a number of years during the 1950s and 1960s. Norman Wilkinson was born in Huddersfield in 1907 and attended Giggleswick School from 1922-25, and it was during this time that he developed his interest in the Settle-Carlisle line. He retained a lifelong love of the area and, after moving to the south-east, enjoyed many family holidays in Austwick, Giggleswick and Settle. He was a great friend of the well-known author and railway historian O.S.Nock and took a full part in the centenary celebrations of the Settle-Carlisle Railway in 1976, displaying part of his Settle Station model on that occasion. Norman Wilkinson died in 1990 and the complete model, which is nearly 5 metres in length, was brought to Settle in 1992, where it was placed on display in the museum's former premises in Chapel Street. The model, together with its painted backdrop, has recently been cleaned and restored with the help of members of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line. It is hoped shortly to make part of the model operational, with a working shunting engine.
Also on show is a fine sequence of black and white photographs of the line and a varied collection of memorabilia and artefacts from Midland Railway times. The exhibition complements the museum's permanent display on the construction of the line, which can be seen on the floor below.
How The Ribblehead Viaduct Might Have Been
From September 2006, the Museum has also put on display the engineer's scale model of the Ribblehead Viaduct built for the repair inspections in the 1980s. The model has recently been carefully restored after damage.
Back in 1981, it was declared that The Ribblehead Viaduct was beyond economic repair. This was a major reason why the line would have to close.
Various options were considered including the construction of:
Scale models of these options were made for inspection in a display case, the alternative models being slotted into place in the landscape as required. One of the alternative designs is on display at any one time, the others being stored in slots underneath the cabinet.
Happily, investigations on one of the twenty four arches of the original viaduct were to show that the structure was not in need of demolition and replacement but could be repaired at affordable cost. This work was completed in 1991.
The original viaduct still stands, 104 feet tall at its highest, and as sound as the day it was completed, an asset to the stunning landscape. The scene shown in the display case shows Ingleborough to the left of the background, Whernside to the right. Over the central skyline is Chapel le Dale in whose tiny churchyard lie the bodies of more than 200 people who died during the viaduct's construction, and that of nearby Blea Moor Tunnel.
Please note that the railway material is located in a room on the top floor
of The Folly. It is regretted that there can be no wheelchair access to this
floor, but the staircase is easily manageable.