Kirkby Lonsdale in 1843
Kirkby Lonsdale (i.e. church-town in the dale or valley of the river Lon or Lune) is in Lonsdale ward, 256 miles from the General Post-office in London, by railway to Lancaster ; 15½ miles north-east of Lancaster, and 11½ south-west of Kendal. The parish has an area of 33,760 acres, and had, in 1831, a population of 3,949. Kirkby Lonsdale township has an area of 2,980 acres : there were in the township, in 1831, 341 houses, namely, 323 inhabited and 18 uninhabited ; with a population of 332 families, or 1,686 persons : about one-fourth of the population was agricultural. The town is on the right or west bank of the river Lune, over which is an ancient stone bridge : it consists of several streets, the three principal ones meeting in the market-place in the centre : the streets are lighted, but not paved. The houses are well built of freestone and roofed with slate. The church is large, 120 feet long and 102 feet broad, divided into four aisles or portions by three rows of pillars ; it contains some ancient portions amid many alterations, and has a square tower sixty-eight feet high, with a peel of six good bells. There are two or three meeting-houses for dissenters. There is a small manufacture of canvas and linens, which gave employment, in 1831, to about 18 men. The market is on Thursday, and there are three yearly fairs, two for cattle and one for woollen cloth.
The living is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £250, with a glebe-house, in the rural deanery of Kirkby Lonsdale, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, in the diocese of Chester. There are five chapels in the parish, to the perpetual curacies of which, having each a clear yearly value of from £66 to £85, the vicar presents. There were in the whole parish in 1833, fifteen day-schools of all kinds, with from 471 to 481 scholars, namely, 222 boys, 159 girls, and from 90 to 100 children of sex not stated in the return ; giving nearly one in eight of the population under daily instruction. There were eleven Sunday-schools, with 544 scholars, namely, 231 boys, 273 girls, and 40 children of sex not stated in the returns ; giving nearly one in seven of the population under instruction on Sunday.