Kirkby in Cleveland

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Kirkby-in-Cleveland (also known as Kirby) is an ancient settlement. Its name is probably derived either from the old Danish for "the farm by the church" or from the Norman Baron, Adam de Kirkby, who lived in the village and made a grant of land to Guisborough Priory.


Repairs to the church yard wall in 2014 revealed the remains of a juvenile of about 10 years. Examination has dated the remains to 11th century. They were reinterred 2016. The church stands close to the crossing of two ancient roads, along which the modern Village has Developed. The route running approximately North – South between Stokesley and Helmsley, Station Road / Hill Road / Pannierman Way has been used over the years by monks at Rievaulx travelling to fish hatcheries at Worsall, as a pack horse route and as a quarry and mineral (jet and alum) road up to the 19th century. Kirkby Lane / Busby Lane, running at right angles, linking all the villages at the foot of the Cleveland Hills, is part of the old e Highway from Northallerton to Whitby. The A172 is a relatively modern successor. Roman coinage was discovered in Hill road in the 19th century.

The cruciform village lies in agricultural land below the North York Moors and is clearly visible from the escarpment a little over a mile to the south. The mediaeval linear field system can still be made out in the field boundaries to the west, particularly to the north of the Village.

Excavations in 1951 located the presumed site of the original pre-Conquest church, dedicated to St. Augustine (c597); its replacement, built on the same site in 1815, stands on a dry, elevated position in the centre of the Village.  In 2010 the local history group carried out an electronic survey of the site and believe they have once again identified the location of the original church.

The principal axis of the original Village is to the north and south of the crossroads. On this lie the oldest buildings, ranging from workers’ cottages to the pub (former smithy), schoolhouse and church, their importance being recognised as a designated Conservation Area.These properties for the main part were built in the 17th to the 19th centuries with infill building during the 20th century. This group includes the listed St. Augustine’s Church (rebuilt in 1815) with its large country churchyard.  The three small greens in the Village are all on this  route, one at the very entrance to the Village, one immediately

after the church yard in front of the Church Hill Cottages and the last and largest in front of the Old School House at crossroads. Apart from the old school house and a terrace of three houses to the east of the crossroads, twentieth century development is responsible for the east and west limbs of the Village. This is entirely residential and has been restricted so that the Village has maintained its simple cruciform shape comprising some 90 dwellings. For more information about the area visit:

Kirkby, Great Broughton & Ingleby Greenhow Local History Group

A Short History of Kirkby

Parish Clerk