ARCHIVE RESEARCH

A hugely important part of the Thornton le Street project is the hours of work undertaken to put the fieldwork discoveries within a wider historical context. In 2017 we had a bespoke training session from the wonderful staff at NYCRO. This led to the establishment of an Archive Group whose work will continue throughout the life of the project and beyond.  There are a number of subgroups undertaking archive research and we will use this part of the website to keep you updated with our progress, and the tantalising and exciting things we discover along the way

buildings group
historical families group
latin group
maps group
NYCRO records transcription group
parish records group

Looking at the Mill House and the “Old Hall”.  Using original sources including photographs, elevation drawings and content from the statutory list of protected buildings, and secondary sources such as “Eight Centuries of Milling in Northeast Yorkshire” J.K.HARRISON ISBN978-1–904622

Some of the notable families and landowners from the last few hundred years namely Talbot, Cathcart and Crompton have memorials in St Leonard’s Church as well as links to the “Old Hall”, Thornton le Street Hall (Wood End) and Colvis Hall. The Talbot estate papers are currently under investigation – including a murder mystery!

THORNTON-LE-STREET – Torentum, Torentone; Thorneton in Strata; Thornton in the Strete
On our introductory training day at the County Records Office we were shown a box with many Medieval Latin deeds for Thornton le Street. Fortunately, one of our attendees was Mary Irwin who volunteered the information that on Wednesday evenings a group met at the Record Office to translate Latin documents. She subsequently approached the group who were nearing the end of a major piece of translation, and they agreed to take on the task of making the deeds accessible and understandable. The first challenge was to decipher the handwriting, and the abbreviations, of the medieval scribes, and then the Latin had to be translated into English. It is quite amazing to see the original documents, given that the earliest one with a date is from 1308, and a small number obviously predate that one but have no evident date in the text. The deciphering of the documents is a collaborative effort, under skilled guidance, and all levels of ability in both palaeography and Latin are welcome. The Record Office has copied all the documents, and we work on either computer screen or print-off copy of the texts. However dim your recollection of Latin may be, if you would like to get to grips with life in Medieval Thornton le Street, or simply want to develop your skills so that you can tackle other sources, get in touch and you can be sure of a warm welcome from a very helpful and friendly group of people. The most interesting element of the exercise is the piecing together of the network of families who are either involved in the inheritance or acquisition of land and the ‘capital messuage’ of Thornton le Street (almost certainly the Old Hall or its predecessor), and the names and locations of of the witnesses. We hope to eventually produce some kind of ‘family tree’ of the people named, and to discover more about the village farmland, pasture and mill: 10 documents completed, only some 50+ to go! Examples of the original documents, with translation, will be placed on our web-site, and all the documents made available through the NYCCRO catalogue

We are aiming to produce an integrated map composed of Ordinance Survey maps: OS71 1857 and OS87 1856 for Thornton le Street, tithe maps and apportionments for seven of the townships/parishes including and around Thornton le Street, and an early 18th Century Estate map. We are integrating on a database, with other relevant material (tithe apportionments, Lidar, Geophysics survey)

NYCRO Records Office
The transcription group are working with the North Yorkshire County Records Office (NYCRO) to transcribe indexes and documents which have been identified as useful to the TLS History Group and also of benefit to NYCRO for making information more widely available.

A number of different areas have been tackled both in terms of indexes to collections and transcriptions of specific documents in full. The following list gives an idea of what has been done to date. References are given and these relate to the NYCRO reference associated to the documents.
1.Index of records relating to the Crompton and Cathcart estate in the North Riding of Yorkshire – ZQM index which is now fully searchable on the NYCRO database
2.Letters mainly between the Earl Cathcart and Charles M Forbes his land agent
3.Talbot Wills
4.Letters relating to the Clarence Railway Bill
5.List of John Talbot holdings in Thornton-le-Street c1650
6.Indexes of holdings acquired by the Bell family of Thirsk
7.Particulars of the Wood End estate and contents of Wood End dated 1792 following the death of Lady Fagg in 1791
8.The account book of John Pollard with Lady Fagg from 6 September 1785 to 27 May 1789

The parish records group created a time-line of the records identified to date. This timeline has been printed and is currently on display in Thornton-le-Street Village Hall. A version is available as a downloadable TimelineFinal file. Copyright to Ann and Paul Harris.

The following areas of general research have been identified and the groups will be working within these contexts:-
The origins of Thornton le Street including geological and landscape history; early evidence of human activity or settlement nearby, Domesday and Torentun.
The evolution of the road network in and around Thornton le Street including earliest routes through the Vale of Mowbray, Brawith the broad ford, the significance of parish boundaries, roman road?, medieval passage, farm tracks to turnpike, modern day.