Carebi (xi cent.); Karebi (xiii cent.); Keerby (xvi
Cold Kirby is a parish of about 1,620 acres lying
on the east slopes of the Hambleton Hills north
of Coxwold. Nearly 700 acres are in cultivation,
the chief crops being oats and barley. The subsoil
is corallian beds. The grassland, covering 450 acres, (fn. 1)
lies chiefly in the south-west of the parish, where is
Cold Kirby Moor. Most of the common land was
inclosed under an award of 1789. (fn. 2)
The parish at its western boundary reaches a height
of about 1,000 ft. above the ordnance datum. It slopes
down towards the east, where it narrows between two
converging and deep wooded valleys, Nettledale on
the north and Flassendale on the south. The village
stands on the level moor some 800 ft. or 900 ft.
above the ordnance datum. North of it is agricultural
country with old quarries scattered among the fields.
To the south are numerous plantations, among which
stands Hambleton House.
The church of St. Michael is at the east end
of the village, which consists of two rows of houses
standing far back from the road; they are all of
comparatively recent date. The school lies near the
church. A field path leads hence across the valley
to the village of Old Byland.
In 1086 COLD KIRBY was soke of
the royal 'manor' of Easingwold. (fn. 3) It
was granted by Henry II to Robert de
Stutevill, whose heirs retained a mesne lordship. (fn. 4)
Before the end of the 12th century Richard Croer,
the tenant in demesne, granted it to the Knights
Templars. (fn. 5) In 1209 the master of the Temple
claimed various lands from the lords of neighbouring
manors as part of his manor of Kirby. (fn. 6) Kirby Flat,
which probably lay between Cold Kirby and Old
Byland, was found to belong to the master's manor,
but was granted to the abbey
of Byland at a yearly rent of
4s. (fn. 7)
Stutevill. Argent a fesse indented gules.
When the Templars were
dissolved in 1312 Cold Kirby
passed to the Crown, (fn. 8) but was
subsequently granted with
other lands of the Templars
to the hospital of St. John of
Jerusalem. (fn. 9) It was attached
to the preceptory of Mount
St. John. (fn. 10)
Dawnay, Viscount Downe. Argent a bend cotised sable with three rings argent thereon.
In 1543 land in Kirby
which had belonged to the
hospital was granted to the Archbishop of York. (fn. 11)
The 'bailiwick or manor,' however, was not included,
but was granted by Elizabeth in 1565 to William
Haber and John Jenkins in fee. (fn. 12) Brian Askwith
of Osgodby died in February 1589–90 seised of the
'manor or berewick' and was succeeded by his son
William, (fn. 13) whose son William
was a minor at his father's
death in March 1600–1. (fn. 14)
The manor remained in his
family, (fn. 15) and on the death of
the last William Askwith was
divided between his granddaughters and co-heirs, Judith,
who married Walter Hawkesworth, and Margaret, who
married Francis Fawkes. (fn. 16)
They sold it in 1706 to
Henry Dawnay Viscount
Downe, (fn. 17) whose family held
it (fn. 18) until 1788, when it was
sold by Lora Viscountess Downe to Charles Duncombe. (fn. 19) Thomas Slingsby Duncombe sold the
manor in 1858 to Robert Tennant. (fn. 20) He sold
it in 1880 to Mr. C. F. H. Bolckow, whose son
Mr. H. W. F. Bolckow is the present lord of the manor.
The church of ST. MICHAEL consists of a chancel measuring internally
16 ft. 9 in. by 12 ft. 11 in., nave 48 ft.
8 in. by 17 ft. 10 in., and a west tower 6 ft. 1 in.
square. It was entirely rebuilt in 1841, the only
trace of the original building being the font, which
has a circular 12th-century bowl on a short octagonal
stem with a chamfered base. In the upper edge of
the bowl are the holes where the staples of the cover
were fixed. Another fragment, a small stoup, is in
the possession of the village schoolmaster. All the
windows of the present building are wide single
lights with round heads, and the south doorway has
also a semicircular head. In the churchyard is a piece
of an old coffin stone.
The tower contains two bells, the first of which
bears neither date nor inscription; the second is
inscribed in Roman letters 'God savee his church,
The plate includes a silver cup of 1843, a paten
of 1842 and a flagon of the same date as the cup.
The registers begin in 1749.
This church was till the 18th century a chapel of Easingwold (fn. 21) (q.v.),
and is mentioned as such in 1269. (fn. 22)
In the reign of Henry VIII Easingwold was
annexed to the bishopric of Chester, (fn. 23) and for some
time the bishop must have presented to Cold Kirby.
In the beginning of the 18th century, however, the
advowson had passed into other hands, possibly by
sale. William Clark of Haxby presented in 1718
and H. Freeman in 1750. (fn. 24) During the latter half
of this century the advowson belonged to Edward
Lister of Bedale. He must have sold it before 1805
to the lords of the manor, (fn. 25) which it has since followed in descent.
In 1883 the church was annexed to the neighbouring benefice of Scawton. (fn. 26)
The Poor's Money consists of
£18 8s. 7d. in the Thirsk Savings
Bank. The interest is withdrawn
every three years and applied in the distribution of
money and coals.