Craven's hidden heritage goes on show

Craven Herald: Mark and Pat Rand, centre, are filmed by Channel Four following their restoration of Settle Water Tower Mark and Pat Rand, centre, are filmed by Channel Four following their restoration of Settle Water Tower

Historic buildings in Craven will be throwing open their doors to the public as part of the national heritage weekend.

Taking place over four days, it is the largest volunteer event in Britain and celebrates the quirky to the majestic. The occasion will be used to launch Earby and District Local History Society’s new archive room in the town’s New Road Community Centre.

The ceremony will take place at 11am on Saturday and the room will be open to the public at selected times on both Saturday and Sunday.

Elsewhere, the heritage weekend is being supported by Mark and Pat Rand, who transformed the former Settle Water Tower alongside the Settle-Carlisle Railway into a one-bedroom home.

Their 18-month labour of love was filmed by Channel Four’s Restoration Man programme.

The 19th century tower is a survivor of the steam age and its function was to store water at a sufficient height above the railway and in sufficient volume to enable thirsty steam locomotives to fill their tenders quickly.

Such structures were once familiar features of the railway scene, but of the eight on the Settle-Carlisle line, only the Settle tower remains. It was last used about 40 years ago.

The converted home has retained most of the original feature and visitors will be able to view a “then, now and the telly in between” exhibition as well as enjoy the stunning views from the top-top terrace.

It will be open daily between 10am and 4pm from Thursday to Sunday.

And those visiting on Friday and Saturday will also have the chance to look around the nearby preserved signal box, with its operating points, signal and bells.

Other premises due to open are:

Addingham : Farfield Friends Meeting House will be open on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. Built in 1689 and one of the earliest Quaker Meeting Houses, Farfield has been carefully restored by the Historic Chapels Trust, with the support of English Heritage. There will be guides on hand to explain its history.

Barnoldswick : The steam engine and hand-fired boilers at Bancroft Mill will be stoked up ready for visitors on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4.30pm.

The former textile mill on Gillians Lane will also host weaving demonstrations on Lancashire looms.

Burnsall: St Wilfrid’s Church, a grade one listed church in perpendicular style, will be open on Saturday (10am to 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 4pm). It houses a 14th century carved alabaster panel of the nativity and a Vikings in Burnsall exhibition.

Earby: Two historic properties will be open in Earby.

The youth hostel - once home to Independent Labour Party founder member Katherine Glasier - will welcome visitors between 11am and 4pm on Sunday.

The property on Birch Hall Lane was converted with funds raised to create a permanent memorial to the social reformer. Archive YHA film will be shown.

Also open will be the Yorkshire Dales Mining Museum, housed in the old grammar school.

It contains the largest collection of Dales mining relics in the world and can be visited between 11am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Glusburn : Visitors will be able to learn about the 120-year history of grade II listed Glusburn Institute when it opens its doors between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday.

There will be free guided tours and displays of archive material.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the wide variety of activities in the institute and music will be provided in the chapel by the Craven Accordion Orchestra.

Linton: Set in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Linton Fall Hydroelectric Power Station has come out of retirement 100 years after it was first built. It has been restored to its former glory and is now a commercially operational power station. It is normally closed to visitors, but will be throwing open its doors on Thursday and Friday between noon and 3pm. Representatives from civil engineers JN Bentley will be on hand to answer any questions.

Giggleswick : Built between 1897 and 1901, Giggleswick School Chapel boasts some unusual exteriors with mosaics, sgraffito, and high-quality stained glass. It will be open on Saturday from 10am to 5pm and next Sunday from 1pm to 4.30pm.

Settle: The grade one listed Folly - home to the Museum of North Craven Life - has organised a number of events to celebrate the heritage event.

From 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Sunday, it will offer special quizzes and family activities and a Folly Mouse Trail for children. Visitors will also be able to view its permanent exhibitions and its two temporary displays, which currently feature Victoria Cave and local celebrations.

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