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Welcome to Thoralby Through Time


Thoralby is a village in Bishopdale, which  is a side valley of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales. This website explores the history of Thoralby, the neighbouring villages of Newbiggin and West Burton, and the scattered hill farms in the rest of Bishopdale from prehistory to the late twentieth century.  


I was born at Holmeside Farm in Thoralby and raised in the village, where my family has lived for several generations. This website provides a wide range of primary evidence about Thoralby, Newbiggin, Bishopdale and West Burton. Many of the documents have been transcribed to avoid breaching copyright laws. Please notify me if you find any errors or if you have any relevant information or images for the site.


Thank you.

Penny Ellis (née Snaith)

© Thoralby Through Time

Bishopdale is both the name of a valley and the name of a township within that valley. There are four townships within the valley of Bishopdale: Thoralby, Newbiggin, Burton-cum-Walden (West Burton) and Bishopdale. This can be confusing because Bishopdale can refer to the valley as a whole or to the specific township of that name in the upper reaches of the valley.


To avoid this potential confusion, there is a tab called Bishopdale Valley at the top of each page under which is a drop-down menu that leads to information about the valley as a whole. Then there are four more tabs, labelled Thoralby, Bishopdale, Burton-cum-Walden and Newbiggin  under which can be found information pertaining to each specific township.

This site is under construction, please notify me of any errors. Thank you.

   World War One: Roll of Honour: Aysgarth Parish

                                  - All Who Served - 219



Twenty six additional names added since November 2018 


Search the site for a surname, occupation, house, field or place name etc.


1921 Census Return - Thoralby


- 45 households and a population of  197

1921 Census Return - Newbiggin


- 21 households and a population of  75

1921 Census Return - Bishopdale


- 11 households and a population of  64

Cross Lanes School (1742-1964) 

Thoralby Mill - a brief history

Over 1,000 Years of Milling at Thoralby

 - Early history of Thoralby Mill

Littleburn Bridge and House

- new section

Thoralby Blacksmiths

- new section



Four Townships

A Thriving Village

Burton Today

West Burton and Walden Schools

Robinson Memorial C. 0f E. School - more class photographs added

Walden School

World War One


1939 Identity Register 

Burton-cum-Walden - new Section

National Identity Cards and Petrol Coupons added for Alfred and Annie Plews.

Alfred Plews ARP Warden helmet and whistle.

Douglas A. Dobbing's gas mask and box.


Images of West Burton Petrol Station and Garage. 

Trade Directories

Burton-cum-Walden - new Section

1921 Census Return - Burton-cum-Walden


- 98 households and a population of  385

Please contact me if you have a postcard or photograph you would be willing to share.

A very big thank you to those who have already done so.


If you would like more information, please contact me. Thank you.

© Thoralby Through Time
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