Kirby Misperton

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Kirby Misperton
North Riding
GR pillar box at Kirby Misperton - - 2393985.jpg
Grid reference: SE779794
Location: 54°12’17"N, 0°48’23"W
Population: 370  (2011)
Post town: Malton
Postcode: YO17
Dialling code: 01653
Local Government
Council: North Yorkshire
Thirsk and Malton

Kirby Misperton is a small village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, with a population of around 370.

The village is found four miles to the south of Pickering by road and about seven miles north of Malton. Adjacent to the village lies a popular amusement park: Flamingo Land.

A gas field nearby, discovered in 1985, pipes gas to the Knapton Generating Station. The fields were bought by Kelt UK Ltd (owned by Kelt Energy plc and Edinburgh Oil & Gas plc) from Candecca Resources Ltd (owned by BP) in 1992.

Kirby Misperton Church

St Laurence's Church

The parish church, St Laurence, is part of the Benefice of Kirby Misperton, which is made up of the parishes of Kirby Misperton, Normanby and Salton, and the Benefice of Middleton.

The church has stood in the village since the 9th century. Incorporated in the stone work of the chancel walls are a number of 'wheeled crosses' and fragments of a tomb headstone, dating from the late Anglian period which came to an end with the Danish invasion of Northumbria in 867 AD. Kirby Misperton is thought to have been one of the few stone-built churches to have existed in Yorkshire at this time when "there was not a stone church in all the land, but the custom was to build them all of wood." The church was entirely rebuilt in the 15th century, and no part of the present building has survived since before that reconstruction, although the Norman chancel arch was not removed until the late 19th century. The chancel was rebuilt by rector George Body in 1857 and designed by Charles Hodgson Fowler. In 1886 the East window commemorating the family of rector Charles John Symson was removed to its present position near the pulpit and replaced by that given in memory of Squire and Mrs Robert Tindall.[1]

Alexander Neville was a cleric at Kirby Misperton and rose to become the Archbishop of York, was subsequently deposed, and exiled to France, where, he ended his days as a parish priest in Louvain. Other notable rectors include John Thornborough who became chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I, was one of the translators of the Authorised Version of the Bible, and died Bishop of Worcester at the age of 90 in 1641. His immediate successor, Peter Rollock, was a member of the Scottish Privy Council, and sometime Titular Bishop of Dunkeld. In the early 19th century the Rev'd. and Hon Augustus Duncombe held the Living for seven years and became Dean of York in 1858.


Main Street in 1976

The place-name 'Kirby Misperton' conflates the names of two adjoining places. Kirby is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Chirchebi. This means 'church village' in Old Norse. Misperton is also first attested in the Domesday Book, where it appears as Mispeton. This may mean 'foggy hill' or 'dung hill', possibly from mistbeorg in Old English. The two names first appear together in early Yorkshire charters, as Mispertona Kirkeby circa 1090, and as Kircabimispertun in 1157.[2]

The Domesday Book recorded a total population of 14 households (13 villagers and 1 priest) with a total tax assessed of 2.8 geld units. The Lord in 1066 was recorded as Thorbrand, son of Karli and from 1086 the Canons of York (St. Peter). The Tenant-in-chief in 1086 was Berengar of Tosny.[3]

Gas industry

Oil and gas exploration has a history in North Yorkshire dating back to the 1930s. In 1937 the first well was drilled at Eskdale on the North York Moors and in 1938 gas was discovered in a deeper second well. There was much oil and gas exploration in the Vale of Pickering during the 1970s and 1980s. A significant number of seismic surveys were shot and several fields were discovered, some of which are still in production today. During the 1980s the fields of Kirby Misperton and Marishes were discovered. Well KM-1 was drilled in March 1985 and found gas at two levels. Since 2000 eleven new wells have been drilled in North Yorkshire with drilling at Ebberston, Marishes, Pickering and Kirby Misperton.[4]

Third Energy Onshore drilled the KM8 well (located about 500 yards west of Kirby Misperton), within the Kirby Misperton gas field, during 2013. Samples were taken at several different depths to assess the hydrocarbon potential. Analysis of the gas bearing zones in the deeper Bowland section concluded that they should be appraised further. To assess their commercial potential, Third Energy applied for a hydraulic fracturing permit to stimulate gas flow from these inter-bedded sandstone and shale sections.[5]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kirby Misperton)


  1. rebecca. "Home". Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  2. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 1960. p. 279 ISBN 0198691033
  3. [Misperton Kirby Misperton] in the Domesday Book
  4. "History of Ryedale Gas Exploration in North Yorkshire". Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  5. "Assets & Operations | Third Energy". Retrieved 25 October 2017.