Kirby Hill

Over in the arable dales north of Richmond today. This is Kirby Hill. I say no more than quote the words of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the chronicler of England’s historic buildings. Writing in 1966 he said:

Kirby Hill is a perfect village, but it is also, as English villages go, an exceptional village. It lies on a sudden hill, first of all, and it has on its hill a perfectly rectangular green with the church alone not following the axial precision of the pattern. The houses on the other sides are some detached, some attached (e.g. the former almshouses), but all of about the same height and the same character.

The building to the right of the house at the centre (the one with the external chimney) is a former grammar school, founded in 1556 and closed in 1957. It is now residential. The house in the centre was the school master’s house. To the left the church dates from 1397 but is probably on the site of a much older church.

One notable visitor to Kirby Hill was the artist William Turner. He came on 13 July 1816, then the wettest summer on record.


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