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 small hamlet of Newbiggin 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, Bishopdale and Newbiggin. 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 three townships within the valley of Bishopdale: Thoralby, Bishopdale and Newbiggin. 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 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 three more tabs, labelled Thoralby Township, Bishopdale Township and Newbiggin Township, under which can be found information pertaining to each specific township.

The bottom end of the valley is in a different township called Burton-cum-Walden or West Burton. Since most of this township is in the neighbouring valley of Walden, it has been excluded from this website, but material pertaining to that part of Burton-cum-Walden that lies in Bishopdale can be found under the Bishopdale menu.

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

   World War One: Roll of Honour: Aysgarth Parish

                                  - All Who Served - 212


      Nineteen additional names added since November 2018 


   Cross Lanes School (1742-1964) 

Numerous class photographs of past scholars

The School Manager's Minute Book (1903-1965)

1902 H.M.I. Report

1902 and 1951 Timetables

Influx of Evacuees during WW2

Scholars' reminiscences of Cross Lanes School

List of known Headteachers and assistant teachers

NEW: Newspaper extracts in which Cross Lanes School is mentioned: from balls, tea parties and concerts to advertising for a new master, and fines for parents for not sending their children regularly to school (1875-1913)

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


Thoralby Mill - a brief history

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

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