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)

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

              Latest Additions:

             Three P.O.W.s included and one additional VAD Nurse                identified: Nellie Smorthwaite (1868-1958) and driver, 

              R.F.A. : George Whitehead (1870-?), Frank Heseltine,                    (1884-1946) Gunr., R.G.A., Thomas Coulton Jaques,                        (1889-1964) Royal Household Cavalry, John Routh,                       Aysgarth (1858-?)  Pte., Army Service Corps, William                    Webster (1888 -?)  Pte., Canadian Expedition Force 


 Aysgarth - Additional names added to V.A.D. Nurses with

 Dr.  Pickles c.1914


  Bishopdale - Commemorative cup and saucer from the            Peace  Celebrations in Bishopdale on Saturday 19th July 1919

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


   Newspaper ExtractsThoralby (1777-1839)

                                         Thoralby (1840-1879)


   Thoralby ArticlesThoralby (1805-1961)


   Leyburn Auxiliary Fire Briogade, 1943

   Thoralby, Bishopdale & Newbiggin Home Guard, 1945


   Simon Thwaite (1806-1899)

   Margaret Thwaite (née Cragg (1809-1899)

   Simon and Margaret Thwaite and daughter, Margaret Ann

   at the Street Head Inn, c.1895

   Margaret Ann Thwaite & R T Chapman

    at the Street Head Inn, 1919


   Street Head Inn, 1919

   Street Head Inn, 1960s

   Street Head Inn, 1995

1939 ID Register, Thoralby - WW2 - Local retained

    firefighters and fire engine, 1943


1941-43 Farm Survey, Thoralby - Holmeside Farm photos

   and details of household amenities of farms in Thoralby     

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.


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© 2015-2020 by Penny Ellis