"KIRKBY MOORSIDE, commonly called and spelled Kirby Moorside, is a market-town, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Ryedale, north riding, 221 miles from London, 95 from Manchester, 29 from York, 20 from Thirsk, and about 6 from Pickering and Helmsley. The town has nothing to boast in appearance, for although it contains many good houses, yet it is so irregularly built, that the compact features characteristic of a town are not to be met with at this place. It is nearly surrounded by steep hills, and is situated on the river Dove, and there are other streams in the neighbourhood, not navigable, upon which are some corn mills; there are also malting concerns in the town, and lime and limestone quarries are in its vicinity. There are no manufactures here, and its general trade is unimportant. The parish Church, dedicated to All Saints, is vicarage, in the gift of the King, and incumbency of the Rev. Edmund Gray; here are besides, a chapel, belonging to the independent and Wesleyan Methodists, and a friends' meeting-house. There are several interesting ruins in this neighbourhood, and the village of Kirkdale, two miles hence, on the Helmsley road will attract the antiquary and the geologist; the former from its ancient dial, with its Saxon inscription, and the latter from its celebrated cave, in which so many fossil animal remains were discovered in 1820. At a house in the market-place of this town, died George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (the son of the favourite of James 1.) in poverty, having dissipated his fortune in dissolute extravagance he was buried in the church here. The country around here presents many delightful views, and some are singularly picturesque. The land is very fertile, producing heavy crops of grain. The market-day is on Wednesday; and the annual fair on Whit. Tuesday. The population of the whole parish, in 1831, was 2,903, of which number 1,878 were inhabitants of the township."
Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29
by Colin Hinson ©2007