Visitors to The Folly at Settle will have the chance to discover just what it took to produce a book in 15th century Craven.

Shirley Jones, of the West Yorkshire Archive Service, will run a free family workshop on Saturday, September 7, from 2pm to 4pm where people of all ages can have a go at writing with a quill pen, compiling secret codes and producing a document finished off with a special seal.

At 7pm, Shirley, who is head of conservation at the archive service, will give an illustrated talk about the skilled and painstaking process of restoring the 15th Century Fountains Abbey stock book – one of Yorkshire’s greatest treasures.

The stock book, which is currently on display in The Folly, records the livestock kept by monks on the land then owned by the Abbey and includes several references to Craven farms, such as Trenhouse on Malham Moor.

In her talk, Counting Sheep! How We Restored the Fountains Abbey Stock Book, Shirley will explain the various stages in the restoration process and show how a book of this period was constructed.

The stock book, which is part of the Bradfer-Lawrence collection at the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in Leeds, has a further interesting local connection.

Well-known Settle archaeologist and collector Tot Lord had originally acquired the book for his Pig Yard Club museum and passed it on to Harry Bradfer-Lawrence, who was a frequent visitor to Tot’s home at Townhead.

Tickets for the talk cost £6, including refreshments. They are available in advance by telephoning the folly on 01729 822893 or visit