Thorley, Hertfordshire

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St James the Great Church, Thorley - - 234170.jpg
St James the Great Church, Thorley
Hertfordshire UK location map.svg
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Location within Hertfordshire
Population626 (2011 Census) [1]
OS grid reference TL 476 189
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CM23
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°50′49″N0°08′57″E / 51.847°N 0.1491°E / 51.847; 0.1491 Coordinates: 51°50′49″N0°08′57″E / 51.847°N 0.1491°E / 51.847; 0.1491

Thorley is a village and civil parish in East Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire, England. The parish includes the hamlets of Thorley Street, Thorley Wash and Old Thorley, and is bordered at the north by the market town of Bishop's Stortford.

Civil parish territorial designation and lowest tier of local government in England, UK

In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which historically played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; civil and religious parishes were formally split into two types in the 19th century and are now entirely separate. The unit was devised and rolled out across England in the 1860s.

East Hertfordshire Non-metropolitan district in England

East Hertfordshire is a local government district in Hertfordshire, England. The main settlement is Bishop's Stortford.

Hertfordshire County of England

Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in the south east of England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.



Thorley is listed in the Domesday book as "Torlei", belonging to Geoffrey de Mandeville, a notable Norman baron. During the reign of Edward the Confessor, Thorley Manor belonged to Earl Tostig.

Geoffrey de Mandeville II, 1st Earl of Essex was a prominent figure during the reign of King Stephen of England. His biographer, the 19th-century historian J. H. Round, called him "the most perfect and typical presentment of the feudal and anarchic spirit that stamps the reign of Stephen." That characterisation has been disputed since the later 20th century.

Norman conquest of England 11th-century invasion and conquest of England by Normans

The Norman Conquest of England was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror.

Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary. The female equivalent is baroness.

Thorley is less than one mile north from Blounts Farm in the adjoining parish of High Wych, the place where the criminal Harry Roberts was found by police during a long manhunt after he had participated in the murder of three London-based policemen. He was found in a barn hiding under straw.[ citation needed ]

High Wych village in Hertfordshire

High Wych is a village and civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of Hertfordshire, England. The village is located a little over one mile south-west of the town of Sawbridgeworth, and around three miles north-east of Harlow in the neighbouring county of Essex.

In law enforcement, a manhunt is an extensive and thorough search for a wanted and dangerous fugitive involving the use of police units, technology, and help from the public.


Thorley Church, dedicated to St James the Great, dates to the 13th century and includes a Norman font and a three-seat sedilia. The pulpit was designed by George Gilbert Scott. There is a one-thousand-year-old yew tree in the graveyard, which also has the grave of Daniel Defoe's sister. The graveyard is entered through a lychgate dating from the 1920s. The stocks and whipping post that stood in the graveyard until the late 20th century have now been moved to the Bishop's Stortford Museum. Samuel Horsley was rector of the Church from 1779 to 1782, following in the footsteps of his father John, who was rector from 1745 to 1777. [2] From 1594 to 1610, the rector was Francis Burley, one of the translators of the King James Bible. [3] A 16th-century Tudor barn in the adjoining farm was converted from pig barn to a church and community centre - called the St Barnabas Centre - in 1996 with the help of a £1 million endowment. [4]

James, son of Zebedee One of JesusTwelve Apostles

James, son of Zebedee was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, traditionally considered the first apostle to be martyred.

Norman architecture sub-type of Romanesque architecture

The term Norman architecture is used to categorise styles of Romanesque architecture developed by the Normans in the various lands under their dominion or influence in the 11th and 12th centuries. In particular the term is traditionally used for English Romanesque architecture. The Normans introduced large numbers of castles and fortifications including Norman keeps, and at the same time monasteries, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, in a style characterised by the usual Romanesque rounded arches and especially massive proportions compared to other regional variations of the style.

Baptismal font article of church furniture intended for infant baptism

A baptismal font is an article of church furniture used for baptism.

Thorley Wash nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest owned and managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust between the village and the Stort Navigation. [5]

Thorley Wash nature reserve

Thorley Wash or Thorley Flood Pound is a 17.3 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Thorley, south of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire. It was formerly a flood pound for the Stort Navigation, which was decommissioned in 2004 and converted to a more natural state. It was purchased by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust from the Environment Agency in 2011.

Site of Special Scientific Interest Conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation. The acronym "SSSI" is often pronounced "triple-S I".

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust manages over 40 nature reserves covering nearly 810 hectares north of London, in Hertfordshire and the former county of Middlesex, which is now divided between the London boroughs of Barnet, Enfield, Harrow and Hillingdon. It has over 21,000 members, and is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK. It is a Registered Charity, with its Registered Office in St Albans, and had an income in the year to 31 March 2014 of over £1.5 million.


Thorley has its own cricket club, Thorley C.C. The nearest local primary schools are Manor Fields Primary and Richard Whittington Primary, and Thorley Hill Primary which is on the same site as the Bishop's Stortford High School, all within and at the south of Bishops Stortford.

See also

The Hundred Parishes

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  1. "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. Bishop's Stortford and Thorley history and guide
  3. "Friends of St James" . Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  4. "St Barnabas Barn" . Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  5. "Thorley Wash". Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 11 March 2015.