Kirby Hill, Richmondshire
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Kirby Hill, Richmondshire

Kirby Hill

Kirby Hill, historically also known as Kirby-on-the-Hill,[1] is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. The village is about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Ravensworth and about 4 miles (6 km) northwest of the town of Richmond.

The parish population is about 60,[2] remaining less than 100 at the 2011 Census. Information regarding the population is now included in the parish of Gayles.

In 1866 Kirby Hill, until then a township in the parish of Kirkby Ravensworth, was made a separate civil parish.[3]

In 1859 the centre of the village green featured "a beautiful spring", but it is no longer there.[4] Sir Nikolaus Pevsner described Kirby Hill as "a perfect village, but... also... exceptional".[5]

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of SS Peter and Felix served the large ancient parish of Kirkby Ravensworth.[1] It was built in the 12th century on the site of an Anglo-Saxon church.[6]

The east window of the chancel is 13th-century. In the 14th century the vestry, north aisle and south porch were added and several new windows inserted. The west tower was built in 1397.[5] In the 15th century the clerestory and south aisle were added. The church is a Grade I listed building.[7]

The tower has two bells. One is inscribed Venite exultemus domino,[1] which is Latin for "Let us come and praise the Lord", a quotation from Psalm 95, and SS 1664, which the year it was founded and the initials of the master founder, Samuel Smith of York.[1]

A monument in the church commemorates the former rector Dr John Dakyn (1497-1558), who was Archdeacon of the East Riding.[7] He who took part in, and is a noted chronicler of, the Pilgrimage of Grace,[8] but "managed to exculpate himself".[1]

Other notable rectors of the parish include George Fitzhugh (died 1505), who was Chancellor of Cambridge University and Dean of Lincoln, William Rokeby (died 1521), who was Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Alan Percy (circa 1480-1560), who was Master of St John's College, Cambridge.[]

The church has also a monument to Thomas Wycliffe, who died in 1821 and was the last surviving male descendant of the religious reformer John Wycliffe.[7]

Grammar school

The Old Grammar School

Dr John Dakyn was a vicar of Kirby Ravensworth in the 16th century. He left a legacy to found a grammar school in the village. It was built in 1556 and enlarged in 1706.[1]

Notable alumni of the school include Matthew Hutton (1693-1758), who was born here and was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1757,[9] the astronomer William Lax (1761-1836)[10] and the antiquarian and topographer James Raine (1791-1858).

The school closed in 1957, just a year after its 400th anniversary,[11] and the building is now a private house. It is a Grade II* listed building.[12]


Kirby Hill has an 18th-century public house, the Shoulder of Mutton.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Page 1914, pp. 87-97
  2. ^ "Population Estimates 2009". North Yorkshire County Council. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Kirby Hill Tn/CP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth.
  4. ^ Whellan 1859, pp. 500-.
  5. ^ a b Pevsner 1966, p. 209.
  6. ^ Lewis 1931, pp. 692-697.
  7. ^ a b c Historic England. "Church of St Peter and St Felix  (Grade I) (1301472)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Microsoft Word - David Callaghan" (PDF). Retrieved 2011.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Holtby, Robert T (2004). "Hutton, Matthew (1693-1758)". Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "A Cambridge Alumni Database". University of Cambridge.
  11. ^ "The Grammar School, Kirby Hill, North Yorkshire" (PDF). Landmark Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2014.
  12. ^ Historic England. "The Old Grammar School and Grammar School House and attached wall and railings  (Grade I) (1131319)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ Shoulder of Mutton
  14. ^ "Pub Of The Week: Shoulder of Mutton, Kirby Hill". Yorkshire Post. Yorkshire Post Newspapers. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 2017.


External links

Media related to Kirby Hill, Richmondshire at Wikimedia Commons

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