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Romantic Richmondshire,

Harry Speight,


Romantic Richmondshire, Harry Speight,1897

(courtesy of the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes)

The following is a transcription from the above Book:

p.23 pp.449-455 Transcribed from Romantic Richmondshire, 1897 - Harry Speight

p.23 ..., formerly in the tenure of Christopher Metcalfe, Kt., deceased, or his assigns, &c.," likewise the tenements with appurtenances in Thoralby, ..., Blindsike, ... (as set out in the fine), to have and to hold the said several tenaments, lands, and other premises for the term of forty years, rendering annually for the whole of the said tenements, &c., the sum of £19 9s. 6d.


p. 168 ...This Tor was honoured by being named after the great Scandinavian god Thor, who is placed in the Edda amongst the most valiant of the sons of Odin.... he has left the weight of his imperishable name here in such places as ... and Thoralby, in Wensleydale, ...It was common to dedicate the names of particular places to such deities, which were supposed to be then under their immediate dominion and protection; such were Asgard; in Wensleydale Aysgarth, in old charters written Asgarth, the place of gods; near to it are Thoralby ..., dedicated to Tor or Thor...


p. 420  A local man, one of the serving brothers, [Templar] Thomas de Thoralby, was even induced to confess to spitting on the Cross, and this forced confession, indeed, saved the man his life. Many of the Templars, however, resolutely denied the charges, protesting their innocence till the tortures of the stake or gibbet put an end to their anguish...


pp.449-450  Thoralby is an old village mentioned in Domesday, and there written Turoldesbi. It once had a chapel dedicated to All Hallows, which was founded in 1316 by Mary de Neville, lady of the manor of Middleham. At the dissolution of chantries it was certified (A.D. 1548) to be in the incumbency of Adam Myddleham, and the yearly value of £4 15s. 4d. The site of this ancient chapel can still be identified in a field called Chapel Close [Chapel Garth]. At the west end of the village is the old Wesleyan Chapel, built chiefly through the exertions of the Pickards in 1823, opposite it is the neat new chapel erected in 1886. There are some old houses here. One of these has inscribed over the door, 1704, M.S.; another higher up the village, bears the date 1653, and initials; I.B., that is, for John Butterfield, who left four-and-a-half acres of the land for the benefit of the poor of Thoralby and Newbiggin. At the last-mentioned place as well as at Thoralby there were formerly lofty May-poles. An old man who remembers the Thoralby one being set up some fifty to sixty years ago, told me that it consisted of two tall larches, which the young men of the neighbourhood obtained from Heanings Gill. Nearly forty men were engaged in removing the trees, and when the pole was erected there was a general holiday and fete in the village. There is now but one fully licensed inn in the village, but a few years ago there was another, the Loyal Dales Volunteers, now a boot shop ['Northampton House'] bearing over its door. J. and R.W., 1811.*


p. 455 The earliest authentic record of a clock-maker about Askrigg is of the time of Charles II., after which date the trade seems to have spread into other parts of Wensleydale, and besides Askrigg, such places as Thoralby, Middleham and Leyburn, had its noted craftsmen.




APPENDIX p. 20  



                                                                             Thoralby - 1891 202

The Loyal Sales Volunteers colours, standard now in Wensley Church

The Loyal Dales Volunteers colours (standard) now in Wensley Church, (courtesy of Stephen G. Hipperson).

*It calls to mind an incident, still talked about, which happened during the threatened invasion of England by Napoleon Bonaparte. The company of Wensleydale volunteers which went by the above name had been enrolled as local militia, and orders had been given that in the event of the beacon on Penhill being lighted they were at once to muster and prepare for the march. It chanced that a fire had accidentally broken out somewhere in the neighbourhood of Roseberry Topping, and the warden on Penhill mistaking it for a signal that on that beacon instantly lighted his own. The result created considerable alarm in the dale, but the men, firm to their trust, went about beating drums, and after many farewells and much sobbing on the part of wives, children, and sweethearts, they gathered together and set out under proper command in the direction of Thirsk, where they were met by the Mashamshire Volunteers. Here the news of the "false alarm" reached them, but not before the panic had spread over nearly the whole of the north of England, and thousands of the brave had mustered in arms. For their loyalty and promptitude of action both the Wensleydale and Mashamshire regiments received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament.

© Thoralby Through Time
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