Take a journey in Walter’s footsteps

Walkers can now follow in the footsteps of the Grand Old Man of Craven with the launch of the Walter Morrison Way.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 3:45 pm
St Michael's Church in Kirkby Malham which is a feature along the Walter Morrison Way.
St Michael's Church in Kirkby Malham which is a feature along the Walter Morrison Way.

Created as part of The Walter Morrison Festival, this 17-mile route from Coniston Cold to Malham, Settle and Giggleswick, retraces some of Morrison’s favourite paths and connects landmarks in Malhamdale and Craven.

Shorter loops explore Kirkby Malham and Malham, the Malham Tarn Estate, Settle and Giggleswick.

A booklet on the route is now available at The Folly in Settle, and Settle Tourist Information Centre and is downloadable from the festival website: https://thefolly.org.uk/walter-morrison-festival/

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The Walter Morrison Way passes Cowgill Barn which was built by Morrison.

The shortest walk is Giggleswick Linear at 2.5 miles. It winds through Settle into Giggleswick, climbing up to Giggleswick School Chapel, which Morrison funded, before returning to Settle.

The Malham Circular Walk is about three miles long, starting and finishing in Kirkby Malham. It explores the picturesque villages of Malham, Hanlith and Kirkby Malham with options to extend to Malham Cove, Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar.

The Settle Circular is a packed four-and-a-half mile walk taking in The Folly, the now-defunct Attermire rifle range and Victoria Cave before curving back to Settle.

The slightly longer five-and-a-half mile walk explores Morrison’s own Malham Tarn Estate.

Giggleswick School chapel, which Walter Morrison funded, can be seen along the Walter Morrison Way. Image courtesy of Giggleswick School. Picture by B.P.M Harris Photography.

Boys from Morrison House at Giggleswick School, where Walter was a governor for almost 60 years, have already walked part of the route to mark the centenary of his death.

They raised £2,000 for SELFA, a charity supporting children and young people in Craven and Skipton. The boys began the walk by laying a wreath at Morrison’s grave in Kirkby Malham churchyard.

Morrison would have been proud of the boys’ efforts because, as well as being a prominent landowner and politician, he was best-known as a philanthropist with a keen interest in education.

In addition to the new walking route, there’s also a new circular cycling trail, starting and ending in Settle, which will shortly be available to download from The Folly’s website.

Walter Morrison portrait painted as a thank you from Giggleswick School and still on display today. Image courtesy of Giggleswick School.

The Folly’s heritage development officer, Caitlin Greenwood, said: “We’re delighted that the walking and cycling routes are now available. We hope they will continue to be used for years to come, providing a lasting reminder of Morrison’s philanthropy.”

The Walter Morrison Festival includes exhibitions at Giggleswick School Chapel, Kirkby Malham Church, Kirkby Malham Parish Hall, Malham Chapel and Skipton Library until September 30. From October, all the exhibitions come together at The Folly.

For information on venue opening dates, visit: https://thefolly.org.uk/walter-morrison-festival/

The Walter Morrison Festival has been organised by the Museum of North Craven Life at The Folly, Malhamdale Local History Group, Kirkby Malham Parish Church, Kirkby Malham Parish Hall, Craven Museum, Malham Chapel, Giggleswick School, North Yorkshire County Council Policy, Partnerships and Communities (Libraries and Record Office), and Kirkby Malham School.

The Folly, built in 1679, is the Yorkshire Dales’ only Grade I listed historic house regularly open to the public. It is home to the Museum of North Craven Life, which tells fascinating tales of the people and landscape.

The building, and the neighbouring Grade II Zion Chapel, are owned and run by the North Craven Building Preservation Trust, the volunteer-led registered charity dedicated to preserving the historical, agricultural and architectural heritage of the district and sharing information via its museum service.