infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 53.10
longitude= -1.25
map_type = Nottinghamshire
official_name= Kirkby-in-Ashfield
population = 25,265
shire_district= Ashfield
shire_county = Nottinghamshire
region= East Midlands
constituency_westminster= Ashfield
post_town= Sutton-in-Ashfield
postcode_district= NG17
dial_code= 01623
os_grid_reference= SK5056

static_image_caption=Statue of Harold Larwood in Kirkby Market Place

Kirkby-in-Ashfield is a market town in Nottinghamshire, England, with a population of 25,265 (according to the 2001 National Census). It is a part of the Mansfield Urban Area. The Head Offices of Ashfield District Council are located there.

Kirkby-in-Ashfield lies on the eastern edge of the Erewash Valley which separates Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Kirkby-in-Ashfield, or Kirkby as it is locally known, was originally a Danish settlement (Kirk-by translates as 'Church Town' in Danish) and is a collection of small villages including Old Kirkby, The Folly (East Kirkby), Nuncargate and Kirkby Woodhouse. It is mentioned in the "Domesday Book" and has two main churches, St Wilfrid's, a Norman church, which was gutted by fire 6 January 1907 but quickly re-built to its former glory and St Thomas's built in the early 1910s in neo-gothic style.

Kirkby-in-Ashfield was once an important centre of coal mining and railways in west Nottinghamshire, with three active coal mines and a central junction where both the London Midland and Scottish Railway and the Great Central Railway met. The town rapidly expanded during the Victorian era. However the closure of the coal mines in the 1980s and early 1990s lead to a major slump in the local economy and the area suffered a high level of socio-economic depression.The Railway was closed during the Beeching era leaving the town without a fast link to central Nottingham and nearby Mansfield. The Railway re-opened in the 1990s as part of the 'Robin Hood' line.

The town is currently undergoing a revival and is progressively changing from a traditional mining town to a commuter base of the Greater Nottingham area, however the transition from industrial centre to commuter suburb is in its infancy and will take some years to develop.

The town has two large secondary schools, Ashfield Comprehensive School and Kirkby Sports and English Technical College.

Local politics have been dominated by the Labour Party for much of the 20th century, however Ashfield attracted media attention in the late 1970s with a shock by election win for the Conservatives.The current MP is Geoff Hoon, former Secretary of State for defence during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The towns most famous resident is Harold Larwood; the England cricketer who was born in Nuncargate in 1904. Best known for his 'fast leg theory' in the Ashes Test series of 1932-33.

The area around St Wilfrid's Church is designated a conservation area, and consists of former farm buildings built from local stone, some of which are listed. In the conservation area, at the junction of Church St, Chapel St, and Sutton Road, is Kirkby Cross. This is the remains of a thirteenth century village cross in dressed stone, and is a listed structure and designated ancient monument. It is thought the cross has been in place since 1218, some years before the village was granted a market and fair. It was nearly demolished by an articulated lorry in early December 1987, but has been restored.

On the edge of Kirkby is Portland Park (known to local people as "the quarries") a mixture of woodland and grassland areas which, together with a number of small ponds and streams, are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The visitor centre there was opened in October 1994, and is an environmentally friendly building and a centre of excellence for energy conservation. [ Select for information on the Ashfield District Council website] The 1981 gentle Sunday evening programe 'Shillingbury Tales' was based on old kirkby, as the writer Francis Essex's aunt lived nearby. The characters were based on locals who used to know his aunt. Filming was switched to Aldbury in Kent at the last minute because of costs and lack of space for filming. Fact|date=May 2008

See also

* Kirkby-in-Ashfield railway station
* St. Wilfrid's Church, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
* St. John the Evanglist's Church, Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Places of interest

* Newstead Abbey
* Sherwood Observatory

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Kirkby in Ashfield — Original name in latin Kirkby in Ashfield Name in other language Kirkby, Kirkby in Ashfield State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 53.09982 latitude 1.24379 altitude 162 Population 27539 Date 2011 03 03 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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  • Ashfield (District) — Ashfield District Lage in Nottinghamshire Status District Region East Midlands Verw.grafschaft Nottinghamshire …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Ashfield — Infobox UK district name = Ashfield District status = District region = East Midlands admincounty = Nottinghamshire area = Ranked 236th 109.56 km² adminhq = Kirkby in Ashfield onscode = 37UB population = Ranked English district rank|ONS=37UB… …   Wikipedia

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