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North Riding
St Leonard's Church, Thornton-le-Street - - 1805429.jpg
St Leonard's Church, Thornton-le-Street
Grid reference: SE413862
Location: 54°16’13"N, 1°21’59"W
Population: 42
Post town: Thirsk
Postcode: YO7
Local Government
Council: Hambleton
Thirsk and Malton

Thornton-le-Street is a village and parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire. It is situated on the A168 Thirsk to Northallerton road, about three miles north of Thirsk and about five miles south-east of Northallerton.

The whole village is within the site of the old mediæval village and designated and Ancient Monument under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.[1] It is located between the west bank of the Cod Beck and the A168 road.


The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Torentun in the Allerton hundred. The manor was the possession of Earl Edwin at the time of the Norman invasion. Afterwards it passed to the Crown who granted it to the manor of Northallerton whose lord was the Bishop of Durham.[2] In the 13th and 14th centuries, the main landowners were the de Wassand and de Wadesley families. In the 16th century the line of descent had altered through marriage to the Everinghams and then by sale to the Talbots who held the title to the manor until 1793. It was briefly the possession of Sir Samuel Crompton, 1st Baronet whose daughter inherited the manor where it passed down her husbands', Alan Frederick Cathcart, 3rd Earl Cathcart, line of descent.[3][4]

The name is derived from Old English words þorn and tūn combined with the Anglian word, strēt to give the meaning of Thorn tree farm on a Roman road. The suffix of le-street was used to distinguish it from other Thorntons in the area.[5][6]


The village is located between the west bank of the Cod Beck and the A168 road between Thirsk and Northallerton. Within a radius of two-and-a-half miles can be found the settlements of Thornton-le-Moor, Borrowby, Knayton, Upsall, South Kilvington, Newsham and South Otterington. The mean elevation in the village is 154 ft.

The abandoned mediæval village, fishponds and manorial site complete with a moat, are now little more than earthwork banks, but with well preserved below-ground remains. The old route of the main street which follows that of the old Roman road can be traced from the end of the existing main street running towards the eastern side of Old Hall.[3]


The village church is dedicated to St Leonard and is a Grade-II* listed building. The oldest parts indicate it was built in the 12th century with modifications in the 14th and 19th centuries.[7]


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Thornton-le-Street)
  1. National Heritage List 1018853: Medieval settlement at Thornton-le-Street
  2. Thornton-le-Street in the Domesday Book
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Parish History". Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  4. Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. pp. 832–833. ISBN 1-86150-299-0. 
  5. Watts (2011). Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names. Cambridge University Press. pp. 610–11. ISBN 978-0521168557. 
  6. A.D. Mills (1998). Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford Paperbacks. p. 459. ISBN 978-0192800749. 
  7. "Church Listing". English Heritage. 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.