19th Century Onwards
The weekly market and daily throughput of drovers and packhorse carriers created a bustling town with a surprisingly large number of inns and ale houses to cater for thirsty travellers - some 29 in total, of which eight still function as licensed premises. By the early 19th century, the old market area was becoming too congested for the volume of trade, so a new marketplace was built in 1822.
The steep incline of Mill Brow with its fast-flowing (now culverted) stream was the industrial heart of Kirkby Lonsdale, with several mills using water power for grinding corn, bark and bone, carding wool, manufacturing snuff, making bobbins, fulling cloth and sawing timber.
The Keighley and Kendal Turnpike of 1753 passed through Kirkby Lonsdale and there met a turnpike from Milnthorpe on the coast. In 1818 the two Trusts were amalgamated.
Kirkby Lonsdale railway station opened in 1861 and closed to passengers in 1954.
Today, Kirkby Lonsdale bustles with activity, with a weekly market, many local events and traditional shops. The centre is a mix of elegant 18th-century buildings and stone cottages huddled around cobbled courtyards and narrow alleyways with names such as Salt Pie Lane and Jingling Lane.
Motorcycle enthusiasts meet every Sunday at Devil's Bridge.
Kirkby Lonsdale's secondary school, Queen Elizabeth School, specialises in the performing arts, sports and languages. The school is situated on Biggins Road, and takes pupils from ages 11 to 18.
A two-day Victorian fair used to be hosted in the town each September. The streets were closed to traffic and filled with traders' stalls, craft demonstrations and entertainment, while visitors were encouraged to wear Victorian dress.
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