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KIRBY HILL:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Hallikeld - Electoral Division of Wath - Poor Law Union of Great Ouseburn - County Court District of Richmond - Rural Deanery of Boroughbridge - Archdeaconry of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.

This parish, sometimes called Kirby-on-the-Moor, lies on the north bank of the river Ure or Yore, which here separates it from the parish of Aldbrough in the West Riding. Its total area is, according to Ordnance Survey, 2,595 acres, and the number of its inhabitants, 563. It includes the townships of Kirby Hill, Langthorpe, and part of Humburton and Milby. The parish is wholly agricultural, the soil fertile, and the scenery pleasingly diversified with woodlands. It is intersected by the Boroughbridge and Knaresborough branch of the N.E. railway, which joins the main line at Pilmoor Junction.

The township of Kirby Hill has an estimated area of 1,163 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at 1,809. With the exception of 82a. 1rd. 22pr. of glebe land, the whole township is the property of Miss Elizabeth Rawson, of Nydd Hall, near Leeds, who is also the owner of all the manorial rights. The village stands on an eminence from which extensive views of the surrounding country are obtained, It is distant about one mile N. of Boroughbridge. On a hill near the village is Skelton Wind-mill, from which can be seen 16 churches, the cathedrals of York and Ripon, the castles of Crayke and Sheriff-Hutton, and the Hambleton hills. The ground on which the mill stands, and two small strips of land on the declivity, formerly belonged, it is said, to the parish of Kirby Hill, and local gossips thus account for their transference to the neighbouring parish of Skelton. Many years ago the body of an unknown man was found here. The burden of burying the corpse rested with the parish within which it was found. The authorities of Kirby Hill refused to comply, whereupon, the parishioners of Skelton removed the body and buried it in their own churchyard, and, by some old law or custom, claimed this land for their own parish.

The Church (All Saints) is an ancient structure, dating from Saxon or early Norman times, and subsequently restored in the Gothic period, when the east end was rebuilt in the latter style. It was again thoroughly restored in 1870, at which time the north aisle was widened three feet, the tower remodelled, and the old mouldered stones of the chancel arch and other parts of the church carefully taken out and replaced by new ones. An unsightly west end gallery (the addition of modern times) was also removed, the old box pews replaced by good open benches of oak, and the walls denuded of the many superimposed coats of whitewash. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, porch, and tower. The north aisle is separated from the nave by an arcade of three arches, two of which are Norman, and one Gothic. Most of the windows are square-headed. Five have been filled with stained glass in recent years to the memory of departed worth. The vestry is on the north side of the chancel, and the dividing wall is pierced anglewise, with a large opening something like a hagioscope or "squint." In the tower are six bells, three of which were presented in 1870 by Miss Rawson, at whose expense also the tower was restored. Several incised stones, supposed to be Saxon workmanship, and found during the restoration of the church, have been built into the walls of the porch.

The Living is a discharged vicarage in the gift of the Bishop of Ripon and incumbency of the Rev. Charles Hanson Sale, who was presented in 1859. It is valued in the King's Books at 7 13s. 6d., and is now worth 300.

The school, erected on the glebe land near the vicarage in 1867, is attended by about 100 children.

The Wesleyans have a small chapel in the village.

HUMBURTON and MILBY are two townships partly in this parish and partly in that of Aldbrough in the West Riding. The first-named township contains about 1,000 acres, of which, 500 are in Kirby Hill parish. Population, 58. The land and all the manorial rights belong to the Crown. The hamlet of Humburton consists of two farms and five cottages, situated on the west bank of the river Swale. Milby township is the property and manor of Lady Mary Vyner, Newby Hall, Skelton, daughter and co-heiress of the late Earl de Grey. It comprises 726 acres, of which, 394 are in this parish, and the remainder in Aldbrough. The number of inhabitants is 84, but only six reside within the parish.

The Village of Milby is situated on the north side of the Ure, about a mile N.E. of Boroughbridge, and near, is the railway station for that town. The great Roman road leading from York to the Roman Wall crossed the river here, and some years ago the remains of the wooden bridge could be seen when the water was low. The Ure has, in modern years, been made navigable for small craft up to Ripon, and to avoid a weir, which crosses the river from Boroughbridge Mill, a canal, three-quarters of a mile in length, has been cut from Milby locks below the weir to Langthorpe above it.

A little to the east of Milby, near the confluence of the Ure and Swale, is Ellenthorpe (from Eller the elder tree and thorpe), a small estate and manor the property of the Crown. The hall is a substantial brick building, occupied by John Hawking, Esq., who farms the land. There was formerly a Protestant Dissenters' Chapel here, endowed with 22 a year for the maintenance of a minister; but this endowment was lost a few years ago and the chapel taken down.

Langthorpe is a township containing, according to the overseer's returns, 959a. 2r. 14p., and valued for poor law purposes at 2,249. The principal landowners are Lady Mary Vyner, Newby Hall; Robert C. Vyner, Esq., Fairfield, near York; the North Eastern Railway Co., and about 14 freeholders. The village is situated on the left bank of the Ure, opposite Boroughbridge. The Baptists have a small chapel here. About a mile west of the village is Brompton Hall, formerly the residence and property of the Tancreds of Whixley, near York. It has been for some years used as a farmhouse, but is at present unoccupied. One of the bedrooms is wainscotted, and has a secret closet.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]

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