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Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland

Historical Description

Kirkby Stephen, a small town, a township, and a parish in Westmorland. The town stands on the river Eden, and on a branch of the N.E.R. and M.R., under Ash Fell, 9½ miles SE by S of Appleby. It consists chiefly of one long well-built street; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place, and has a post office with money order and telegraph departments, two railway stations, two banks, a butter market, a police station built in 1887, a temperance hall, a church, Baptist, Congregational, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist chapels, a grammar school, a literary institute, a workhouse, a cemetery, and several charities. The Baptist chapel and the Oddfellows' Hall were erected in 1890. The church is large and ancient, includes Saxon or Norman portions, was partially rebuilt in 1847 and restored in 1871-73 at a cost of £7000, has a lofty tower, and contains monuments of the Musgraves, the Whartons, the Dalstons, and others. The grammar school was founded in the time of Elizabeth, reorganized in 1881 by the Endowed School Commissioners, and has an endowed income of nearly £70. The workhouse is that of East Ward district, and at the census of 1891 had forty-five inmates. A weekly market is held on Monday, and various fairs fo'r horses, cattle, and the hiring of servants, are held throughout the year. Burn, the author of the " Justice of Peace," was a native of Winton in this parish. The township comprises 3135 acres; population, 1713. The parish contains also the townships of Kaber, Winton, Hartley, Nateby, Wharton, Mallerstang, Smardale, Waitby, and Soulby. Acreage, 33, 029; population of the civil parish, 3124; of the ecclesiastical, 2639. There are three manors. The land about the town is rich and well cultivated, but the parish includes much moor and mountain, intersected by glens and dales, and extending to the backbone of England. Game abounds, and coal, limestone, lead, and copper ore occur. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £330 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Lonsdale. There are two working men's clubs.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyWestmorland 
Ecclesiastical parishKirkby-Stephen St. Stephen 
Poor Law unionEast ward 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kirkby Stephen from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Westmorland is available to browse.