Kirkby Town Trail - Part 6

It was at Pear Tree Farm, just passed the present Leeside Avenue on the right hand-side, that in 1861 Robert Atherton, the 'Ploughboy Poet', was born. Atherton, a rather eccentric man, was vicar of Bolnhurst, Bedfordshire for a while before leaving the church. He sustained himself by wandering the country, performing readings of his poetry. He returned to Pear Tree Farm and died there in 1930. Another clergyman, this time far more eminent, was also born at this farm. Peter Augustus Baines was born here is 1786, eventually entering the Roman Catholic Church and taking holy orders. He rose to become Domestic Prelate to the Pope in 1825 and consecrated a bishop in 1829. Continue to the end of Bewley Drive, crossing over Valley Road, the A506, onto Whitefield Drive. This road runs through the Westvale area and up to the Station. On the left you pass Kirkby Sports Stadium which was opened in June 1964 by local MP Harold Wilson.