13 July 2008


Thornaby is said to have come into existence about AD 800 when the land was given by Halfdene, King of the Danes, to Thormod, one of his noblemen Thor-ny-by thor's new village. There are other signs of Thornaby being a much older settlement. Traces of prehistoric man have been found, the earliest being a stone axe, 8" long, dating back to the Mesolithic Period (about 3000 BC). In 1926 a dug out canoe said to date from about 1600 – 1400 BC was found in the mud under 8 feet of water opposite Thornaby High Wood. An arrow head of the Neolithic Period (about 3000 BC) was found in a garden on the Thornaby Village Green.

During the Battle of Hastings (1066) one of William the Conquerors noblemen, Robert I de Brus, marched north with a garrison of men and occupied the area of Cleveland. William gave him those lands to control including Thornaby and Middlesbrough. The then King of Denmark, Sweyn, on Sept. 9th 1069 defeated the Normans at York by killing the entire garrison of 3000 men. William swore an oath to avenge Sweyn by destroying every house and dwelling in the lands under Sweyns rule, leaving all the land in the north east of Yorkshire barren and bare.

Thornaby's first mention in the Domesday Book states:- "Robert Malet has these lands and they are waste." It appears remained undeveloped until the early 19 th. century as "Thurnaby waaste" is mentioned in a poem by Tennyson called "The Northern Farmer.".[citation needed]Over the centuries there have been a number of different spellings of the name Thornaby including Turmozbi, Thormozbi and Tormozbia. The form Thornaby first appears in 1665 and refers to old Thornaby village near the River Tees. In the nineteenth century old Thornaby, centred on St Peters Church and the old village green was gradually overshadowed by the burgeoning town of South Stockton. South Stockton was on the Yorkshire side of the Tees opposite Stockton on Tees. South Stockton, became the site of a pottery in 1825 and quickly grew with the establishment of shipbuilding and engineering in the area. On 6th October 1892 South Stockton and Old Thornaby merged into one to form the municipal borough of Thornaby-on-tees.

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