Kirkby in Cleveland

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About Kirkby-in-Cleveland

The Parish of Kirkby-in-Cleveland extends from the top of Cringle Moor on the Cleveland Hills in the south to the outskirts of the market town of Stokesley in the north. To our east is the village of  Great Broughton and to our west Great Busby.

The village of Kirkby has grown at the meeting of roads running East - West linking a chain of villages at the foot of the North York Moors escarpment and North - South where the northern limb runs to Stokesley and the southern becomes a green road climbing on to the moors, leading travellers to Bilsdale, the abbey of Rievaulx and the market town of Helmsley.  The cross roads itself lies only a hundred yards or so from the highest point in the surrounding country side which was chosen as the original site of the Anglo Saxon church  (See History section). The agricultural origins of the settlement that grew at this advantageous location are still evident in the surrounding fields and architecture of properties within the central conservation area.

A Blacksmith's shop at the crossroads spawned a hostelry for the refreshment of customers. The Black Swan public house occupies the same site extending into the former Blacksmith's premises. As the urban area of Teesside, 10 miles to the  north, grew its work force spilled ever further into the countryside and Kirkby in  common with many settlements within and on the edge of the moors succumbed  to the demand for homes in a quiet rural environment. Opposite the pub the boys school and school teacher's house have become private dwellings. In recent years  the village shop has also disappeared. Accordingly the village reflects a mix of traditional and modern styles but so far, in the main, development has been restricted to the sides of the 4 roads, so that open countryside is visible and accessible in any direction.  

In planning terms Kirkby is a secondary village where further development is restricted to proposals which clearly support a local need and contribute to the  sustainability of the local community. In 2006 the Parish Council sponsored  a Village Design Statement which has been adopted by Hambleton District Council as an advisory document guiding further development with the object of maintaining the best attributes of this quiet rural community.

Kirkby shares many facilities with its larger neighbour Great Broughton: where Kirkby is home to the church, Great Broughton is the seat of the Methodist Chapel. The Church primary school, the Sports Club and many community groups bear the names of both villages. The church hall is in Kirkby and the village hall is in Great Broughton. Both host community and private functions from within the villages and further afield.

The wider Parish is still a predominantly agricultural community with a mix of arable and pastoral activities including fish ponds. To the north, on the edge of Stokesley many firms, large and small, have found a home in one of the two large and developing business parks. The railway has long gone although the site of the station and goods yards is still evident as the address of a firm of architects and builders merchants. Roads to the north and south are modern and fast contrasting with the smaller country lanes in the village proper.

So far we have managed to balance the traditional and historical with the demands of a modern and changing environment and we hope that will be the case for many years to come.

Parish Clerk