The upland area of the Yorkshire Dales known as North Craven has stimulated
the creative impulse in generations of artists and writers. Visitors have
been moved by the magnificent limestone scenery and many who have lived and
worked here have found inspiration.
The aim of this booklet, based on the theme of an exhibition held in The
Folly, Settle in 2006, is to enable readers to explore in greater depth some
of the connections which exist between people and places and the links from
one person to another. To make this more convenient, we have devised a series
of four trails which can be followed either in parts or as a whole. A biographical
section at the end of the book provides further information about the people
included in the trails.
Before the second half of the 18th century, we have only a handful of surviving
descriptions and pictorial representations of North Craven. The publication
of maps, together with the road improvements which took place from the 1750s
onward, led to an increase in visitors in search of the 'sublime' and 'picturesque'.
These were concepts associated with vastness, solitude and natural magnificence,
tinged with a degree of 'horror' which became fashionable among the upper
classes, most of whom were more at home in the gentler landscapes of the south.
Guidebooks began to be published and artists were commissioned to provide
The coming of the railways in the mid - 19th century opened up the area to
a much wider range of visitors of all backgrounds, who came in search of recreation.
The subsequent arrival of motor transport meant that the age of tourism began
in earnest and with it the proliferation of illustrated books and pamphlets.
Apart from tourists, many artists and writers have been attracted to the
area to live and work and several fruitful collaborations have developed as
a result. The part they have played in recording changing patterns of life
has been of vital importance to historians and happily a new generation continues
The sheer quantity of associations means that there will inevitably be some
omissions. We have however tried to illustrate the diversity of creative talent
which exists. New work is being produced all the time and we hope that our
readers will enjoy discovering many different 'connections' for themselves.