Kirkby Stephen in 1843
Kirkby Stephen is in East ward, 279½ miles from the General Post-office, London, by railway to Lancaster, from which town it is distant 38½ miles north-north-west ; it is 23½ miles north-west of Kendal.
The parish of Kirkby Stephen (with that part of the township of Kaber which extends into Brough parish, but is included with Kirkby Stephen in the population return) has an area of 31,870 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 2,798 : the township of Kirkby Stephen had, in 1831, 252 houses, namely, 239 inhabited, 12 uninhabited, and 1 building ; with a popula-tion of 311 families, or 1,409 persons : a very small portion of the population of the township was agricultural.
The town is on the left or west bank of the Eden, and consists principally of one street running nearly north and south, parallel to the river, neither paved nor lighted. The houses are generally pretty good. The church is on the east side of the principal street, and is a large ancient building with a square tower. There is a modern market-house. Kirkby Stephen has no manufacture ; but there are copper and lead mines in the parish, and slate-quarries and coal-pits, which give employment to a few men. The market is on Monday for corn, flour, oatmeal, and provisions : there are several yearly fairs or great markets for cattle, horses, blankets, and woollen and cotton goods ; and two statute-fairs for hiring servants.
The living is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £356, with a glebe-house, in the rural deanery of Westmoreland, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Carlisle. There are chapels at Mallerstang and Soulby in the parish, the perpetual curacies of which are of the clear yearly value of £64 and £78 respectively.
There were in the whole parish, in 1833, fourteen day-schools, with from 367 to 372 scholars, namely, 149 boys, 82 girls, and front 136 to 141 children of sex not stated in the return ; giving two in fifteen of the whole population under daily instruction. There were three Sunday-schools, with 174 scholars, namely, 100 boys and 74 girls ; giving one in sixteen of the population under instruction on Sundays. Several of the schools have small endowments.