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West Riding
St Peter, Thorner.jpg
St Peter's church
Grid reference: SE3798040610
Location: 53°51’37"N, 1°25’26"W
Population: 1,646  (2011)
Post town: Leeds
Postcode: LS14
Dialling code: 0113
Local Government
Council: Leeds

Thorner is a rural village and parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, located between Seacroft and Wetherby. It had a population of 1,646 at the 2011 Census.[1]


Thorner ford

There is archaeological evidence of Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon settlements, while the name St Osyth's Well, just West of the church, refers to a Viking Age saint.[2]

The village appears in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Torneure" (also "Tornoure") means "thorn bank". The ancient parish of Thorner covers 4,400 acres in the wapentake of Skyrack.[3] The parish includes the townships of Scarcroft and Shadwell, which became separate civil parishes in 1866.[4]

In 1245 it acquired a market, and the area around Main Street shows a typical mediæval layout of strips leading from a market street.[2] The base of a mediæval market cross is on Butts Garth.[5] As well as farming, pottery was a local industry in the Middle Ages, supplanted by the textile industry in the 18th and 19th centuries.[2]

Thorner railway station (which also served nearby Scarcroft and was originally called Thorner & Scarcroft, opened 1876 and closed 1964 under the Beeching cuts and was demolished and the area developed into housing. It was on the Cross Gates to Wetherby Line, which thereby gave access to Leeds and Harrogate, with some services running between these two extremes.[6] This resulted in an increase in housing and a more widespread distribution of agricultural and industrial products[2] with a substantial number of shops.[7] The end of the annual agricultural show in 1924 indicates the lesser importance of farming to the community.[7] However, from the 1950s local businesses declined as the village population increasingly commuted to larger centres such as Leeds.[7]

In 1970 the main part was designated a Conservation Area: in 2009 the area was extended to include the area of Sandhills to the south.[2] This has essentially limited industrial development and restricted new housing to the surroundings.[7] Many of the properties on Main Street are listed buildings along with St Peter's Church (Grade II).[8]

The church of St Peter is built in the later English gothic style and has a square embattled tower. In the graveyard is the memorial to John Philips, who lived to 118 years. A school was built by subscription in 1787, and is now the Parish Centre. The Wesleyan Methodists have a place of worship on the main street in the village, their nineteenth-century chapel having been converted to flats.[3]


Thorner is situated close to the A1, A58 and A64 trunk roads. It is eight miles north-east of Leeds city centre and seven miles to the south-west of Wetherby. The underlying rock is limestone, some of which was burnt into lime and flagstone and slates were quarried.[3]


Thorner has no street lighting. The village has two public houses, the Mexborough Arms and The Fox. There is no longer a post office or a village shop, but there is a delicatessen, a hairdresser's and a restaurant, formerly The Beehive pub. Social amenities include the Parish Centre next to the church, the Victory Hall in Carr Lane, an over-60s centre, a bowling green, tennis courts and cricket and football pitches.


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