PEOPLE are being invited to discover Skipton's hidden heritage with three new trails developed as part of the town's High Street Action Zone.

North Yorkshire Libraries has been working with Skipton Girls High School and Skipton Civic Society to develop the innovative project which seeks to engage a broader audience in the fascinating heritage of the town.

Smartphones or tablet are transformed into a virtual time machine, offering glimpses into Skipton's past and its evolution. Whether through artistic routes or captivating photographs from bygone eras, the app encourages self-guided exploration, deepening understanding of the area and its history.

Skipton Girls' High School student Sapphire Allko curated the first trail based on two of the town's historic walkways, Swadford Street and Coach Street.

During her six-month work experience placement at Skipton Library, Sapphire, 16, utilised its extensive Rowley Ellwood collection, housed at the library.

She selected eye-catching photos and used resources from the library's local studies collection, including archives of the Craven Herald and Pioneer, directories, books, maps, and unpublished notes by local historians. Sapphire also accessed online census records via and Find My Past, which are freely available in all North Yorkshire libraries.

Sapphire said: "I'm hoping to work in the heritage sector after I leave school so being assigned this project was ideal for me. I've really enjoyed the experience of looking through the old photographs and the independent study part of the project gave me the chance to develop my research skills."

The second trail, a joint venture between Skipton Library and Skipton Civic Society, focuses on the High Street's historic pubs and inns.

Steve Wilton, a member of both groups, said, "The pub trail is a great way to showcase our town's fascinating heritage. It charts how the proliferation of pubs and the growth of Skipton's Cattle Market are closely linked and how by the early 1900s we could claim to have 35 pubs and beer houses and 15 off-licences, equating to one licence for every 50 men in the town!"

Members of Skipton Civic Society and HSHAZ completed the third trail, 'String of Beads' based on Susan Wrathmell and Jacqueline Towers' research into the history of the town as part of the Conservation and Heritage project, which showcases particularly artistic and beautiful heritage features around the town. The 'string' starts and ends at Craven Arts House, which has benefitted from HSHAZ funding and is now a thriving arts and music centre.

Giles Proctor from Historic England said: ā€œIā€™m really pleased Historic England has been able to support this project through the High Street Heritage Action Zone. These new trails reflect the passion and pride that many local people have in Skipton and its heritage.ā€

The four trails produced for the HSHAZ programme join three other North Yorkshire trails based on collections from Harrogate, Scarborough libraries and one for Northallerton curated by North Yorkshire County Record Office on the 'What Was Here?' app, created by East Riding of Yorkshire Archives, which is free to download now on Google Play and the App Store. Check out the accompanying website at