Craven Museum

The entrance to Craven Museum. Museum objects on grey plinths can be seen and an old bicycle is suspended from the ceiling.
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At Craven Museum located in Skipton Town Hall, you can connect with local characters and landscapes from the past.

Some of the star objects on display include a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a Roman Amethyst Intaglio and the Iron-Age Flasby Sword.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Open 9:30-16:30, Monday to Saturday

Admission charges

Free Admission

Getting there

Located within Skipton Town Hall.

Additional info

Booking is currently required to visit Craven Museum. Please see our website for further details.

Craven Museum & Gallery has many collections, ranging from those that are regionally important, like the archaeology from Elbolton Cave, to local material from the towns and villages in Craven. The museum also cares for the nationally important Roebuck art collection, which was bequeathed to the museum in 1988. Other collections include costume, art, the natural world and a broad range of social history material dating from the 18th century (1700s) to the present day.

Collection details

Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Personalities, Industry, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology, Agriculture, Photography, Sport, Religion, Natural Sciences, Weapons and War, Music

Key artists and exhibits

  • Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson furniture
  • The Roebuck Collection (a changing display)
  • The Shakespeare First Folio
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Shakespeare's first folio book open at the title page for Romeo and Juliet in a display case

The Shakespeare First Folio

  • 1 September 2014 — 1 September 2031 *on now

In 1623, seven years after William Shakespeare’s death, a compilation of 36 of his plays were published together in one volume. No more than 750 copies of this ‘First Folio’ were printed and today only about 230 survive, with fewer than 50 in the British Isles.

First Folios took over two years to print and, due to printing techniques used at the time, it is believed that no two copies of the book are identical. At the time of Shakespeare’s death, in 1616, 18 of his plays had not reached print. They only existed in handwritten actors’ stage notes and Shakespeare’s own drafts. Included in these unpublished works were some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays such as Macbeth, Twelfth Night and The Tempest. It is unlikely that any of these plays would have survived without the Folio. It is for reasons like this that it is thought of as the most important book in English literature.

In the early 1930s, a Shakespeare First Folio was donated to the museum by Miss Ann Wilkinson, daughter of a local businessman. Thanks to funding from Renaissance Yorkshire and a generous bequest from a private citizen, the Museum has the opportunity to display the First Folio for the first time in decades.

Because of its rarity, the folio needs to be kept in specialised conditions. Museum staff have created a new display area which allows the folio to be kept in low lighting. The display includes information about the folio’s history and an audio-visual interpretation voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart. The First Folio is on permanent display and the pages will be turned regularly.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+


Poster with text describing the new exhibition. Background shows the moon with a sculpture in the foreground

Echoes: Material memories of inhabited space

  • 13 September — 30 October 2021 *on now

Cononley-based artist Barbara Greene uses contemporary artworks, prints, cyanotypes, artist books and 3D installations to give new insights into our local history.

Barbara explores some of the mix of arts and sciences, events and discoveries, which influenced the growth and development of 400 years of life along the Aire valley.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Getting there

Located within Skipton Town Hall.

Craven Museum
Skipton Town Hall
High Street
North Yorkshire
BD23 1AH


Our website:



01756 706407

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.