top of page



Thoralby is a village in Bishopdale, a tributary valley of Wensleydale. 

The name, 'Thoralby', is of Danish origin and means Thoral's farm or village. Norse settlement in Bishopdale came in two stages. Danish settlers arrived in the ninth century and established villages in the lower and more fertile areas, while Norwegian settlers arrived from the west via Ireland and Cumbria in the tenth century. The Irish-Norse settlers established individual farms in unoccupied upland areas. It is difficult to differentiate between Danish and Irish Norse settlements because the languages were so similar, but the most likely Danish settlements were Thoralby (Thoraldr’s farm or village) and the now-deserted village of Croxby (the village or farm of a man called Krokr). Swinacote is a mixture of Anglian and either Danish or Norse and means the cottage by the swine ford. The names of several isolated farms are probably of Irish-Norse origin, including Gayle Ing (a summer pasture in a ravine), Howesyke (a small stream by a hill) and Langrigg (long ridge).

© Thoralby Through Time
bottom of page