Attractions and Amenities
The Village Hall, is situated in the centre of the village, in what in earlier years was the village school. It is operated by the village hall committee. As well as a kitchen and toilet facilities the hall is a functional space which can be sub divided by a sliding screen into one large and one smaller space.
The parish church of St John the Baptist is prominently in the centre of the village, a listed grade II *building originally 12C with later additions and rebuilding. Several notable features can be found, amongst them stained glass windows and a lych gate which commemorates the soldiers from the parish who fell during the First World War. The church is still in use as a regular place of worship and is open to visitors.
On the edge of the village is Sion Hill Hall, an example of an Edwardian stately home, Grade II* listed. It has renovated gardens and is home to the Herbert Mawer collection of antiques. Viewing is available for group bookings throughout the year by appointment please contact the hall for details.
Situated in the walled garden of Sion Hill Hall is Thirsk Birds of Prey Centre which holds three different flying displays daily throughout the season. In addition it hosts specific experience days for groups or individuals. See their website falconrycentre.co.uk for details.
The village also has several other Grade II listed properties, Daffodil Cottage (actually 2 cottages) as well as the Lodge House of Sion Hill Hall, The Mount and the river bridge with its raised walkway.
Though on the outskirts of the neighbouring village of Maunby, Maunby Hall is in the Parish of Kirby Wiske and again is a Grade II building of 18C. complete with a Doric bell tower.
Here can be found Breckenbrough Hall now Breckenbrough School, a day and residential school for boys with learning and behavioural difficulties, eg. Asperger’s Syndrome, and Autistic Spectrum Condition.
For information please contact. breckenbrough.org.uk
Also in Breckenbrough is Helen Bell Equestrian which has a cross country course available for hire as well as, if required cross country instruction from an accredited event instructor. Equine events are held throughout the year
See the website for details at helenbellequestrian
Newsham Grange Farmhouse is a grade II listed building, now offering accommodation.
The West Lodge to Thornton Stud is a grade II listed building of late 18C. Along with its metal gates, railings and gate piers, once the entrance to Thornton Hall (now demolished).
Accommodation within the Parish
Situated in Newsham itself, Newsham Grange Farm Bed and Breakfast offers AA****accommodation. Available in either en-suite rooms or a self-catering cottage see their website for details newshamgrangefarm.co.uk.
Holiday cottage rental is also available at the Courthouse, Maunby Hall. see various booking websites
Clubs and Societies
A Local History group meets on a regular basis in the village hall principally focussing on the local area. Details from the secretary.
The Village Hall is the designated Emergency Refuge for the parish.
The parish has in place a basic Emergency Plan which exists mainly due to the prevalence of flooding which affects the village of Kirby Wiske and its surrounding farmland.
Flooding occurs due to the proximity of the Rivers Swale and Wiske together with a small tributary which runs through farm and parkland west of the village to enter the Wiske just south of the village.
Part of Kirby Wiske has some flood defence from a raised riverbank (also a public footpath) together with a secondary bank which is set some hundred metres back from the first. (a small tributary passes through this via a one way clew gate). In some circumstances one or both these can be overtopped or breached.
The Environment Agency monitors the river levels of the River Swale and the River Wiske through electronic telemetry stations at various points along their length. This allows them to provide an early warning to villagers by automated phone, (mobile and landline) and email of impending flooding situations.
Residents are encouraged to sign up for this service on the E.A. website.
When the EA issues either, a FLOOD ALERT or FLOOD WARNING dependent on expected severity, as well as going to residents it also notifies Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire Council Emergency operations.
Flooding Scenarios (Known)
Four flooding scenarios occur:-
The first, (FLOOD ALERT) affects farmland bordering the rivers Wiske and Swale which flood.
The second, (FLOOD WARNING) in addition to the first, the road from Kirby Wiske to Maunby is flooded on the edge of K.W and becomes impassable.
The third, (FLOOD WARNING) in addition to the first two events the main access to K.W. over the River Wiske floods and becomes impassable. Floodwater starts to cover the car park and road outside the church as well as rising further on the road to Maunby adjacent to the village sewerage pumping station. At this time the clew gate for the small tributary closes thereby stopping the flow and causing subsequent water build up behind this flood-bank.
The final (FLOOD WARNING) and worst scenario is a combination of all the previous plus the added effect that the volume of water continues to rise overcoming the road camber in the village leading to flooding of several properties as well as overtopping the sewerage pumping station. At this point the water build-up behind the barrier affects properties on the west of the village.
FLOOD WARNING SIGNS are located on the roadside at both entrances to the village.
FLOOD DEPTH GAUGES are sited on the Maunby Road end of the village, as well as in the field by the river bridge.
SANDBAGS HDC will, in extreme need provide sandbags to residents and NYCC Highways will close the roads affected. The Parish Council holds a reserve supply of sandbags for emergency use by residents and has issued lightweight FLOODSAX to Properties which are known to be prone to flooding. This in an attempt to ensure that they have some form of flood defence for their entrance doors readily to hand.