Bill Bryson, the American author of the best-selling Notes from A Small Island lived in Kirkby Malham for several years.
Many years earlier another literary great, Charles Kingsley, stayed in the hamlet, and immortalised the church bells in The Water Babies, written in 1863: 'Under the crag where the ouzel sings, And the ivied wall where the church bell rings'.
It's a fascinating church to look around, said to have been visited twice by Cromwell to attend weddings. There is evidence of the church's connections to the monks at Fountains Abbey, as much of the land around Malham was once owned by the cistercian monks.
Just inside the church gates are the old village stocks. I've often seen double stocks but don't think I've ever seen a triple set like these - they're incredibly close together so miscreants were either all very skinny or children?
Nearby is what locals refer to as the 'Vic' pub or Victoria Inn, once known as the Victoria Hotel, commemorating the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The former owner, Mr Serjeantson liked sun dials and arranged for one to be erected above the door of the Inn, created 'according to the directions given in the "Encyclopædia Britannica," set up with the help of a candle, a piece of string, and the North Star.' As you wander around Kirkby Malham, you'll see other sun dials as well as a number of 17th century date stones.
Don't leave the area without visiting Airton Meeting House and the excellent Town End Farm Shop.