Grassington Folk Museum

Welcome to the Grassington Folk Museum in Upper Wharfedale.
We have reminders of yesteryear… exhibits of lead mining, minerals, craft tools, lathes, Dales farming, period costumes, domestic accoutrements, World War II memorabilia, folklore and the days of the Yorkshire Dales Railway recalled.

The Museum had a great start to the year with the February half-term holiday week welcoming 553 visitors.

The Museum then opened on Saturday, 23 March 2024 for a season which will last until early November*.

The Museum continues to attract visitors from all over the world, with many coming to Grassington to see the landmarks used for the filming of Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small.

*The visiting hours are from 10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. until 4.30 p.m. subject to the availability of volunteers. The Museum is closed on Mondays, excepting Half-Term and Bank holidays.




Most of the exhibits come from local sources. They tell the story of life in Upper Wharfedale from the days when lynchets or “raines” were cut to terrace and cultivate the fell sides, through times when oats formed the staple diet, to the coming of such “modern” appliances as gramophones, cameras and silent films.

On display are geological specimens, including Grassington minerals, such as galena (lead ore), barites, limonites, calamine, calcite and fluorspar. There are mesolithic arrow points and scrapers, a medieval whetstone, and a spear-head set, also iron age bones, including a tundra reindeer’s jaws from Stump Cross Caverns on the moors between Grassington and Pateley Bridge.

Domestic Artefacts

Sections include kitchen equipment and all the items necessary for a self-sufficient life, when a journey to Skipton and back took the best part of a day. There are farming exhibits with some tools so massive one is astonished at the strength required to use them. There is a section on the great lead mining industry that gave employment to thousands of Dales folk for centuries. A cobbler’s bench with his tools and materials remind us of time when footwear was made to order and repaired in the village.

There are specimens of Craven Gold (panned from the Wharfe), St. Michael’s seal and a cock fighting cup and spurs.

Recent excavations at Grimwith Reservoir, a few miles from Grassington, revealed a small coal mine, which had not been charted. The wooden props, secured by pegs together with thin lengths of wood used to make a wattle retaining wall, are in the Museum. The shaft measured about four feet by two feet. One of the exhibits is an axe-head found when the reservoir was being excavated.




Facing Grassington’s cobbled village square, the Museum is centrally located with parking available in the Square and in the Yorkshire Dales National Park car park nearby…


About The Museum

The Upper Wharfedale Museum Society began in 1975 when a group of local people occupied their winter evenings making a large-scale relief map of Grassington Parish taken from a 19th century tithe map…


Yorkshire Dales Railway

The Yorkshire Dales Railway opened on Tuesday July 29th, 1902. The first sod was cut 2 years previously on June 7th, 1900. The railway closed to passenger traffic in 1930 and goods traffic discontinued in 1969…


Upcoming Events

Grassington Folk Museum holds events throughout the year, from speaker to hosting special exhibits.

Great Nostalgia

“A lovely little place, full of artifacts, and info, on the old town. Especially of interest to me was the collection of old farming tools and artifacts. ”


Wonderful piece of history

“Really beautiful little museum telling the history of the area. Full of artifacts and items that have been donated by locals.”


Well worth a visit

“We were in Grassington for the day, so called in to see what they had on offer. A really pretty little old cottage, when you walk through the door you are taken back in time.”


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