Kirkby Malzeard

Kirkby Malzeard (/ˈkɜːrbi ˈmælzərd/)[2] is a village and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England. There has been a creamery in the village making Wensleydale cheese for almost 100 years, first owned by Mrs Mason, then Kit Calvert, of Hawes, subsequently the Milk Marketing Board and more recently it was acquired by the Wensleydale Creamery.[3]

Kirkby Malzeard
Kirkby Malzeard market cross.jpg
The market cross at Kirkby Malzeard, the village was the site of a market for around 700 years
Kirkby Malzeard is located in North Yorkshire
Kirkby Malzeard
Kirkby Malzeard
Location within North Yorkshire
Population887 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE230743
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townRIPON
Postcode districtHG4
Dialling code01765
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
54°09′51″N 1°38′52″W / 54.16425°N 1.64789°W / 54.16425; -1.64789Coordinates: 54°09′51″N 1°38′52″W / 54.16425°N 1.64789°W / 54.16425; -1.64789


Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the village was mentioned in Domesday Book as Chirchebi (meaning "church village"). The suffix Malzeard (another place-name, meaning "bad clearing" in Norman French) was added by the early 12th century.[4] In medieval times the honour of Kirkby Malzeard included large areas to the west of the village in upper Nidderdale, and the parish came to include several townships:

The townships became separate civil parishes in the 19th century.[5]

In mediaeval times there was a castle at Kirkby Malzeard, held by the de Mowbray family. When Roger de Mowbray participated in the Revolt of 1173–74 against King Henry II, the castle was besieged by the Bishop elect of Lincoln, and Mowbray surrendered it, together with Thirsk Castle, to the King: both castles were demolished.[6]

In 1307, King Edward I granted Kirkby Malzeard the right to hold two fairs annually, and a weekly market on Wednesday. These were subsequently abandoned, but revived in 1816. In 1871 the fairs were still held (on Whit Monday and 2 October), but the market had lapsed again.[6]

In 1866 a landowner named Joseph Helliwell demolished the Market Cross. There was an outcry, and after a year of litigation, Helliwell was compelled to remove a cottage and part of his house that were encroaching on the Market Place. A new Market Cross was erected by public subscription, inaugurated on 30 September 1868. Several newspapers and documents relating to the market place and the cross were placed in a sealed bottle when the foundations were laid.[6]

The writer and historian William Grainge was born to a farming family in the village.[7]

The Queens Head in 2008


The Highside Playing Fields, which provide facilities for several sports, were created in the 1970s. One of the benefactors was Bing Crosby, who came shooting in the area in 1975. He donated £1,250 towards the playing fields, and visited them during a cricket match in 1976.[8]

There is a convenience store and a butcher in Kirkby Malzeard, as well as one pub, the Queens Head. A second pub, The Henry Jenkins, (named after a man from Ellerton-on-Swale who died in 1670, allegedly aged 169), closed on 29 June 2008,[9] and in 2016 is derelict. The Shoulder of Mutton, a seventeenth century listed private house, was formerly a pub.[10]


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches south to Sawley and has a total population taken at the 2011 census of 3,109.[11]


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Kirkby Malzeard Parish (E04007368)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  2. ^ BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (1983), Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-212976-7
  3. ^ Wensleydale Creamery: History and Heritage
  4. ^ Watts, Victor, ed. (2010), "Kirkby", The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Cambridge University Press
  5. ^ "Kirkby Malzeard CP/AP through time | Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit". Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Sheahan, James Joseph (1871). History of York and the North Riding. III. Beverley: T. Whellan and Co. pp. 203–207. Note: Sheahan says the siege was in 1175, and the besieger was "Henry, the Elect Bishop of Lincoln". Other sources such as Scammell, G.V. (2011). Hugh de Puiset. Cambridge University Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9780521179850. say that this campaign was in 1174, and the Bishop elect of Lincoln was Geoffrey Plantagenet, illegitimate son of Henry II.
  7. ^ North Yorkshire County Council website Archived 22 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Kirkwood, Paul (10 October 2007). "Straight Down the Middle". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  9. ^ Walker, Andy (8 July 2008). "Communities mourn loss of two village pubs". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  10. ^ Historic England. "The Shoulder of Mutton (1315324)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  11. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Kirkby Malzeard Ward (as of 2011) (E05006247)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 February 2020.

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