Skipton Town Hall sits at the centre of the highstreet providing a home for heritage, performance and art. The building is currently going through a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment project, but we’re excited for when the white and blue ornate interior, complete with art deco light fittings, can once again open its doors.
Originally built in 1862, the building has expanded and adapted to fit its users’ needs over the centuries. The council chamber where Craven District Council meets is particularly intriguing as it’s served its purpose for over 100 years. The benches on which the council met are also made by the legendary furniture maker Robert Thompson, who is also known as the Mouseman for the small wooden mice often found in the nooks and crannies of his pieces.
The building is vast and diverse and, when open, houses a concert hall as well as the local heritage focused Craven Museum. Inside, you can also visit the exhibition space and the Skipton tourist information centre. For anyone exploring the Yorkshire Dales, taking a walk through the hills on a sunny but cool day is a highlight. This is where the tourist information centre comes into its own, you can find all the necessary maps and usually a friendly face to advise you on a route. The visitor centre has been relocated during the refurbishment and can temporarily be found on Coach Street.
There are plenty of online activities for you to get involved with. Explore the range of craft activities to try with young ones via the website, or dive into a bounty of online material from the Craven Museum including learning resources, a podcast and a series in which curators share their favourite objects.
The hall is also home to Skipton Camerata. This innovative professional ensemble has been bringing national level live classical music to the residents of Skipton and beyond since 2005. The Town Hall also regularly hosts touring shows, whether in dance, theatre or spoken word. The Town Hall acts as a meeting place of high culture and heritage.