The Grammar School

Kirby Hill, North Yorkshire

Overview

Overlooking Kirby Hill's village green and churchyard, The Grammar School was built in 1556 and remained a school until 1957. The Tudor lodgings of the master are where you stay and the pretty village of Kirby Hill is surrounded by views of the North Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • MicrowaveMicrowave

Beds 1 Twin, 1 Double

Sleeps
4
3 nights
£478 equivalent to £39.83 per person, per night

The Tudor Schoolmaster’s Lodgings

In 1957, after a life of 401 years, the school was closed and in 1973 the Trustees gave us a long lease of it. We repaired the ground-floor schoolroom for use as a village hall and the Tudor lodging of the master upstairs we turned into a flat. It has one particularly fine bedroom, looking into the churchyard, with views over the surrounding countryside, the village living up to its name. There is a large library of old school books (in the building when we arrived) and a general atmosphere of ancient peace, abetted by the church clock with its tranquilising strike.

Kirby Hill

This is a surprisingly spacious flat in the pretty village of Kirby Hill (or Kirby-on-the-Moor as it was previously known), a small rural village. The village is surrounded by open countryside on three sides and has views of the North Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Dales. The village pub is a short walk away from The Grammar School, across the village green.

‘We have now slept in over 30 Landmarks, but the Grammar School remains our favourite.’

‘To quote Pevsner "a perfect and exceptional village".’

From the logbook

Floor Plan

Map & local info

The Grammar School stands on the village green at Kirby Hill, with a pub opposite and views of the churchyard and surrounding countryside. 

The nearby historic market town of Richmond, with its castletheatremuseum, impressive monuments and fine Georgian architecture, has lots to offer visitors. It is also the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are plenty of  walks around this area of North Yorkshire to enable you to appreciate its wealth of picturesque villages and spectacular landscapes. Discover the breathtaking waterfalls around the village of Keld and the Aysgarth Falls near Leyburn.  

Just over an hour's drive from here is the wonderful city of York, where you can wander through the The Shambles to admire the impressive Minster. Visit the Castle Museum, the Viking Jorvik Centre and the National Railway Museum, just some of the many attractions in the city to keep everyone entertained.

Ripon is definitely worth a visit,too. As well spending time in its many shops, cafes and restaurants, you can also visit its beautiful, ancient cathedral, award-winning museums, Spa Gardens and the magnificent Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Close by is the Richmondshire Museum (4.6 miles), the Green Howards Museum (4.8 miles) and Rokeby Park (7.9 miles). You can gain free entry with with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it here on the National Art Pass website. 

For more information on things to do during your stay at The Grammar School, please see our Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes
  • How is the property accessed?

    Directly from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Darlington – 14 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is one parking space in front of the churchyard wall. There are a few steps from the parking area up to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage heaters and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath shower over the bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are steep.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    No.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • What time can I arrive and what time do I have to depart from the Landmark?

    Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

A trust founded in 1556

After Mass Dr Dakyn explained to a numerous congregation the detailed instructions for the appointment of the trustees or wardens. The Grammar School and almshouses are owned by a trust that was founded on 11th May 1556 by Dr John Dakyn. He set up his charity as executor of the will of William Knight, the former Archdeacon of Richmond who died Bishop of Bath & Wells. It was the Bishop who left the money.

Locally, the election was known as the ‘Kirby Hill Races’ and although the financial gain for the trustees is no longer there, the elections are still held in exactly the same way as follows:

On the feast of the Decollation of St John, the names of six respectable parishioners (excluding previous wardens) are to be written on slips of paper and enclosed inside balls of wax and put into a jar of water. The vicar then takes our two balls at random, opens them and the names of the two men thus inscribed shall be wardens for the following two years and no longer. Before leaving the hall they have to take the ‘Warden’s Oath’, swearing on the Bible. The remaining balls are kept in the jar and put away in a handsome cupboard that Dakyn also provided so that a replacement warden can be chosen in the event of a vacancy occurring during the period of tenure.

The 16th century school is a rectangular building to which additions have been made. The first floor, the Tudor lodgings of the master, was originally reached by a newel stair in a square projection at the north east end. This turret is now filled and a modern wood stair is now used. The interior of the ground floor school room is plain, with an inscription concerning its foundation.

In 1706, a more comfortable and grander house was built for the schoolmaster - a two storey cottage added next door with a sundial inscribed ‘Mox Nox’. The Tudor lodgings were then used for storage or possibly as dormitories for any boarders.

The North Riding Directory described the school in 1851 'It is free to all boys of the parish and neighbourhood who are eight years of age and able to read. They are instructed gratuitously in English, Writing and Arithmetic, and those who desire it, are likewise taught Latin and Greek. The general number of scholars is from 30 to 40. The master receives a salary of £164 per annum and the usher, £53.13s.6d.'

In the 1930s Mr Jones was the sole master and described as extremely strict. There were still up to 30 boys aged from 10 up to 18 although many would leave at 14. They were all day boys but some came from quite far away, including one boy on a horse. Whilst waiting to go into school in the morning, the boys would climb up the external stairs and squint through the window to see what was on the blackboard and what the lessons were to be that day. But if seen they were in trouble as it was strictly forbidden to go up these stairs or the ones in the schoolroom.

The bell, which you can still see on the outside wall, was rung either by the teacher or one of the prefects to call the boys back after break.

For a short history of The Grammar School please click here.

To read the full history album for The Grammar School please click here

Restoration

Dr Dakyn's school closes in 1973

In 1957, after a life of 401 years, Dr Dakyn’s school was closed and in 1973 the Trustees gave a long lease to the Landmark Trust, a charity that specialises in rescuing and restoring small buildings of architectural and historic importance.

 

 

The old schoolroom was turned into a hall for the village and the second and first floors were made into a flat. As little as possible was done, but it was necessary to support the north and east walls with buttresses.

The main alteration was making a new entrance to the Landmark flat through what was the loft and doing away with the internal staircase which, at some fairly early date, had replaced the stairs in the projecting turret. These stairs had gone and the turret had been blocked up, but the door at the top of the stairs was re-opened and a cupboard made with access from the sitting room.

A new, large sash window was made in the east end of the sitting room which much improves it. The longcase or grandfather clock which is in this room, originally stood against the wall to the right of the door as you go into the schoolroom.

A new kitchen and bathroom were installed and at the west end of the first floor and second floors, partitions were taken out and new ones installed further west over the existing schoolroom wall to create the two bedrooms. The first floor one is particularly fine with views into the churchyard and over the surrounding countryside. A new fireplace was installed in the sitting room and new metal casements to the kitchen and bathroom.

On the east wall, as well as the buttresses, the cable wall had to be rebuilt above eaves level. A small window on the south wall was removed and blocked up and the roof made good.

Fireproofing was inserted between the schoolroom and the first floor. The few brick courses on the top of the chimney stack were taken down and rebuilt in stone.

There is a large library of old school books which were in the building when the Trust took it on. The work was completed in 1975 and the Grammar School, in what Pevsner in his Buildings of England series describes as 'a perfect and exceptional village,' may now be rented all year round for up to four people.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.