Kirkby Thore

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Kirkby Thore
St Michael's Church, Kirkby Thore - - 276293.jpg
St Michael's Church, Kirkby Thore
Grid reference: NY639257
Location: 54°37’32"N, 2°33’30"W
Population: 758  (2011)
Post town: Penrith
Postcode: CA10
Dialling code: 017683
Local Government
Council: Westmorland & Furness
Penrith and The Border

Kirkby Thore is a small village in Westmorland, in the Eden Valley, which lies between the Lake District and the Pennines.

The closest market town is Appleby-in-Westmorland, about 5 miles away, and the larger town for convenience is Penrith about 8 miles away and across the border in Cumberland.

The village has a village shop with post office, a petrol station and a Bistro serving meals.

The parish church of St Michael in Kirkby Thore is built of red sandstone and dates from Norman times. The village also has a Methodist chapel.


The place-name 'Kirkby Thore' is first attested in 1179 in the 'Register of Holm Cultram', where it appears as Kirkebythore. Kirkby means 'church village', whilst Thore is an Old Norse personal name related to the god Thor.[1]

The village is on the site of a Roman cavalry camp called Bravoniacum or Brovonacae[2] and Roman coins, tombstones, sandals, urns, earthen vessels, and the cusp of a spear have been found in the locality. The Maiden Way, a Roman road, led north from Bravoniacum to Epiacum (Whitley Castle), and thence to Magnae Carvetiorum (Carvoran) on Hadrian's Wall, where it joined the Stanegate road running from west to east. A continuation may have run east to Banna (Birdoswald) and then seven miles north to the Shrine of Cocidius (at Bewcastle).

Kirkby Thore Gypsum Plant

Gypsum has been quarried or mined in the area for over 200 years. The local British Gypsum Ltd[3] plant has produced plaster since 1910 and plasterboard since the 1960s. Currently it is more economic to transport gypsum by rail from Drax Power Station than to mine it locally. British Gypsum has a private siding on the Settle-Carlisle Railway which passes to the north of the village.

Transport links

The busy A66 road runs through the western edge of the village. This will be one of the last sections of the A66 to be upgraded to dual carriageway, requiring a new bypass connecting to the existing bypasses round Appleby and Temple Sowerby, but there has been no recent progress

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kirkby Thore)


  1. Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.280.
  2. John Horsley (1732). Britannia romana. John Osborn & Thomas Longman. p. 410. 
  3. "Kirkby Thore". British Gypsum. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-07.