The name Kirk-by means Church and Settlement. Its origin may have taken place prior to the Norse who are believed to have arrived via Ireland around 900 A.D.. It is further believed that a simple Chapel existed here about 870 A.D., this tradition being inscribed on a stone at the base of the Cross which was erected within the present Kirkby parish church grounds in 1875. Though there is no evidence to support this claim, a chapel is known to have existed on this site after the Norman Conquest.
An early surviving artefact of the period is a red sandstone Norman font which is now located inside the present parish Church of St. Chad. This indicates that the practice of baptism has taken place from at least that early period onwards to the present day.