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KIRKBY IN CLEVELAND: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake of Langbaurgh (West Division) - Petty Sessional Division of Langbaurgh West - Poor Law Union, County Court District, Electoral Division, and Rural Deanery of Stokesley - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

The parish of Kirkby, Kirkby-in-Cleveland, or, as it is sometimes called, Kirkby-cum-Broughton, includes the two townships of Kirkby, and Great and Little Broughton, comprising a total area, by Ordnance measurement, of 4,799 acres. The inhabitants, in 1881, numbered 810. The soil consists chiefly of alluvial matter, and the subsoil of strong clay. In the township of Kirkby, there are 1,708 acres, of which 1,598 are under assessment. The gross estimated rental is £2,963; rateable value, £2,702; and population, 244.

The manor of Cherchbi is mentioned in Domesday Book as pertaining to the soke of Stokesley, and was held soon after the Conquest by the Baliols. From them it passed by marriage to the Eures or Evers, a family of consequence in the north, whose chief seat was at Witton-le-Wear, in the county of Durham, The last Lord Eure died about 1680, leaving no male issue, and the manor and estate have since passed through several families, and now belong to James Emerson, Esq., Easby Hall, by purchase from Mr. John Hindson. Mr. Charles Fox, Mr. George Hindson, and Mr. F. E. C. Dobson have also land in the township.

Great and Little Dromonby form an estate possessing distinct manorial privileges. It is mentioned in the Domesday Record as Dragmalebi; and soon after the foundation of Fountains Abbey, we find Agnes Malabisse granting a portion of her land here to that house. Other lands were given by subsequent owners, amongst whom was Wielard de Dromundeby. The Stormeys were afterwards proprietors, and from them the manor and estate passed to the Constables, and thence by marriage to the Middletons. The estate was afterwards divided into several freeholds which, in 1823, belonged to the following yeomen :- James Emerson, John Cook, Christopher Dobson, William Scoby, Robert Farrer, and Robert Harrison, The principal owners now are George Hindson (who is also lord of the manor), and F. E. C. Dobson.

The village of Kirkby is pleasantly situated at the foot of the Cleveland Hills, two miles S.S.E. of Stokesley. The houses are generally well built, and many of a very superior class have been recently erected. The church (St. Augustine) is a plain stone structure erected in 1815, on the site of an ancient but more elegant edifice of the cruciform type. A still earlier church had occupied the spot in Saxon times, which was probably replaced by a Norman structure after the Conquest. In 1151, Adam de Ængelby "confirmed to God, St, Peter, and St, Hylda, of Wyteby, to the world's end, as a free and perpetual alms, the church of Kirchaby, and whatever pertains thereto." The church remained in the possession of the monks of Whitby until the dissolution of the Abbey at the Reformation, when the patronage was granted, in exchange, by Henry VIII. to the Archbishop of York. This is the only sinecure rectory in the gift of his lordship. The tithes of the rectory were commuted for £643, and those of the vicarage for £155. The present church consists of nave and chancel, seated with old-fashioned pews, and tower containing two bells. In the churchyard are two weather-worn effigies in stone, representing a knight and his lady, supposed to commemorate some member of the Eure family.

The vicarage, worth £330, is held by the Rev. Edward H. Smart, B.A., Oxford, appointed May, 1881, upon the decease of the Rev. J. F. Newton, who was curate and vicar of the parish for the long period of 52 years, and to whose memory a marble tablet has been erected by his parishoners and friends.

A Grammar School was founded here in 1683, by Henry Edmunds, Esq., and endowed with a farm, at Little Broughton, for the free education of the poor children of the parish. It was remodelled by the Charity Commissioners, and made a Public Elementary School in 1872, and a new schoolroom was built in 1874.

BROUGHTON GREAT AND LITTLE form a township containing 4,558 acres, chiefly owned by Wm. Ed. Surtees, Esq., D.L., J.P., Tainfield, Taunton, who is also lord of the manor; James Emerson, Esq., J.P., Easby Hall, Great Ayton; and Mr. James Metcalfe, Great Broughton. The soil is alluvial, resting on clay. Wheat, oats, and beans are the chief crops. The gross estimated rental of the township is £5,081; rateable value, £4,588; and population, 566.

Broughton is said to have been a Roman settlement; but whether this were so or not, it is certain from its name that it was a fortified place in early Saxon times.

Burton, in the Monasticon, mentions considerable grants of land in Broughton Magna and Broughton Parva to Bolton Abbey; and Chapel Garth, in this township, may very probably have been a portion of the abbey lands, and the site of a chapel or monastic cell. Built into the garden wall of Mill Vale farmhouse, near the Garth, are some ancient stones which appear to have formed part of an ecclesiastical building. In the reign of Edward I., the manor of Broughton was held by Nicholas de Meinell, under the Mauleys of Mulgrave. It was subsequently held by the Eures.

The village of Great Broughton is distant about two-and-a-half miles S.E. from Stokesley; Little Broughton is an adjoining hamlet of scattered farmhouses. The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Congregationalists have each chapels in the village; and church service is held in the schoolroom every Sunday evening by the curate of Kirkby. There is also a Temperance Hall erected, by subscription, in 1861, capable of holding 300 persons.

On the summit of a hill, overlooking the village, is a clump of rock which several writers have supposed to be a monumental pile or cromlech to some Danish chieftain slain here. It is known among the people of the neighbourhood as the Wain-stones, a name derived, according to the above writers, from the Saxon wanian, to howl, and signifying the "stones of lamentation." The stones, some of which are of immense size, are apparently in the position where nature placed them; one stone only is detached, and on this some love-sick swain whilst whispering his sweet nothings in the ear of his "confiding mistress," has carved on the trysting-stone their initials thus :- " R.O. 1712 WOOING J.D."*

* Ord's History of Cleveland.

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


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.