Thornton, Leicestershire

Last updated

Leicestershire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Leicestershire
OS grid reference SK4607
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Coalville
Postcode district LE67
Police Leicestershire
Fire Leicestershire
Ambulance East Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°40′N1°19′W / 52.66°N 01.31°W / 52.66; -01.31 Coordinates: 52°40′N1°19′W / 52.66°N 01.31°W / 52.66; -01.31

Thornton is a village in Leicestershire, England. The village is within the civil parish of Bagworth and Thornton. It is a linear village lying along a scarp overlooking Thornton Reservoir.

Merrylees Road, Thornton
photographed in July 2007 Merrylees Road, Thornton - - 514947.jpg
Merrylees Road, Thornton
photographed in July 2007

The Church of England parish church of St Peter was built in the 13th century. The church door was originally at Ulverscroft Priory. The priory door is inside the church and not its main external door. It is believed that the door was the only compensation received for the loss of tithes due to the Reformation of Henry VIII. [1] It was reported in November 2011 that the church is being split in two by subsidence. [2]

The first historical notice of Thornton, otherwise called "Torinton" is that in the Domesday Book completed in 1086 AD. In it Thornton, or Torentum, comes under the manor of Bagworde (Bagworth). [1]

Benefactions. There were many in the parish but the following 2 are most significant. 1. In 1630 Luke Jackson gave by will one third of the tithes of Stanton Under Bardon in the parish of Thornton to the poor of the parish for ever. This benefitted the vicar of Thornton to the tune of £2 for preaching 2 sermons on 28 July each year in remembrance of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and on 5 November in commemoration of deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This benefaction comes from the fact that Mr Jackson acquired the tithes at the time of the Reformation when in fact they were rightly belonging to the Church. 2. William Grundy of Thornton, gentlemen, gave by will, a house and garden in Thornton to the poor forever. [1]

Railway From 1832 until 1871 Thornton was served partly by Merry Lees railway station on the Leicester and Swannington Railway. The Stag and Castle Inn built in 1832 served as a station in Thornton Hollow, part way between Thornton and Bagworth until 1865. [1]

On 4 May 1833 an accident occurred at Thornton Lane level crossing (now a bridge). The gates had been left open and a train ran into a horse and cart, the driver of which had not heard the engine driver's bugle. The Company had to pay for a new horse and cart along with fifty pounds of butter and eighty dozen eggs. George Stephenson, the line being laid out by Robert Stephenson in 1832, devised the steam whistle. It was constructed by a Leicester musical instrument maker and of course it became standard equipment on most steam trains afterwards. [1]

Thornton Reservoir has an area of 75 acres (30 ha). It was constructed in 1851 and during excavation traces of a presumed Roman road were seen. [1] It is no longer used as a source of drinking water and was opened for trout fishing in the mid 1970s. Severn Trent Water opened it to the public for walking in 1997. There are 2 public houses here, The Bricklayers Arms and the Reservoir Inn (formerly had other names with Bulls Head being the longest lasting one so far) along with a Working Men's Club. The Bulls Head, now Reservoir Inn was once the site of a slaughter house though it is unclear whether this was at the same time that it was a drinking establishment. It was originally a farming village but, with the coming of the collieries in Bagworth and the Coalville area, many miners lived in Thornton too. There was no colliery or mine workings in Thornton and it is understood that underground faults made any coal under Thornton unworkable. Some believe that the collieries of Desford and Bagworth failed to mine below Thornton and thus deny it the ravages of subsidence as it may have caused severe damage to the railway or drained the reservoir, this is hearsay. Bagworth Heath Woods now stands on the site of Desford colliery.

Nearby is Brown's Wood, formerly Manor Farm Woodland, which was planted in part due to the heavy metal group Iron Maiden liaising with The Carbon Neutral Company to plant enough saplings to offset the carbon dioxide generated by the production and distribution of their 2003 album Dance of Death . [3] There is a club here and a pub (The Bricklayers Arms). It was originally a farming and mining village, but the mine was closed in February 1984.

Notable residents

Related Research Articles

Donisthorpe Human settlement in England

Donisthorpe is a village in the North West Leicestershire district of Leicestershire, England.

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough in England

Hinckley and Bosworth is a local government district with borough status in south-western Leicestershire, England, administered by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. Its only towns are Hinckley, Earl Shilton and Market Bosworth. Villages include Barwell, Burbage, Stoke Golding, Groby, Shackerstone and Twycross. The population of the Borough at the 2011 census was 105,078.

Coalville Town in Leicestershire, England

Coalville is an industrial town in North West Leicestershire, East Midlands England, with a population at the 2011 census of 34,575. It lies on the A511 trunk road between Leicester and Burton upon Trent, close to junction 22 of the M1 motorway where the A511 meets the A50 between Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Leicester. It borders the upland area of Charnwood Forest to the east of the town.

Desford Human settlement in England

Desford is a village and civil parish in the Hinckley and Bosworth district, 7 miles (11 km) west of the centre of Leicester. The parish includes the hamlets of Botcheston and Newtown Unthank and a scattered settlement at Lindridge. The population at the 2011 census had increased to 3,930.

Leicester and Swannington Railway early British railway company (1832–1846)

The Leicester and Swannington Railway (L&S) was one of England's first railways, being opened on 17 July 1832 to bring coal from collieries in west Leicestershire to Leicester.

Bosworth (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885 onwards

Bosworth is a constituency represented since 2019 by Luke Evans, a Conservative.

Bardon, Leicestershire Human settlement in England

Bardon is a civil parish and former village in North West Leicestershire about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southeast of the centre of Coalville. The parish includes Bardon Hill, which at 912 feet (278 m) above sea level is the highest point in Leicestershire. With the population remaining less than 100, information from the 2011 census was included in the civil parish of Ellistown and Battleflat.

Stanton under Bardon Human settlement in England

Stanton-under-Bardon is a village and civil parish about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Coalville, Leicestershire, England. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 634.

Ellistown Human settlement in England

Ellistown is a village about 2 miles (3 km) south of Coalville in North West Leicestershire, England. It is named after Colonel Joseph Joel Ellis who died in 1885. The population from the 2011 census was included in the civil parish of Ellistown and Battleflat.

Nutbrook Canal

The Nutbrook Canal was a canal in England which ran between Shipley in Derbyshire and the Erewash Canal, joining it near Trowell. It was built to serve the collieries at Shipley and West Hallam, and was completed in 1796. It was initially profitable, but from 1846 faced competition from the railways, and more seriously, subsidence caused by the coal mines that it was built to serve. With the mines failing to pay tolls for goods carried on the canal, and in some cases refusing to accept responsibility for the subsidence, most of it was closed in 1895, although the final 1.5 miles (2.4 km) remained in use until 1949.


Snibston is an area east of Ravenstone, north west Leicestershire, in the English Midlands. Originally rural, part of Snibston was transformed into a coal mining village by the opening of coal mines by the Snibston Colliery Company in the early 1830s. This industrial part of Snibston was subsequently subsumed into the developing town of Coalville, though small rural areas of Snibston survive within the civil parishes of Ravenstone with Snibston and Hugglescote and Donington le Heath. In the part of Snibston within the latter civil parish stands the 13th-century church of St Mary, noted as the smallest church still in use for regular worship in England. The main Snibston Colliery was sunk in 1831, and after its closure the Snibston Country Park with the Snibston Discovery Museum was built on part of the colliery site. Part of the park is Snibston Grange Local Nature Reserve. The population is included in the civil parish of Ravenstone with Snibston.

Thringstone Human settlement in England

Thringstone is a village in north-west Leicestershire, England about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Coalville. It lies within the area of the English National Forest.

Leicester–Burton upon Trent line Freight-only railway line in England

The Leicester–Burton upon Trent line is a freight-only railway line in England linking the Midland Main Line south of Leicester to the Cross Country Route at Burton-on-Trent. The line closed to passengers in the 1960s, since when various proposals have been made to reopen it.

Bagworth Human settlement in England

Bagworth is a village in Leicestershire, England, 9 miles (14 km) west of Leicester. The population is included in the civil parish of Bagworth and Thornton.

River Sence river in west Leicestershire, England

The River Sence is a river which flows in Leicestershire, England. The tributaries of the Sence, including the Saint and Tweed, fan out over much of western Leicestershire from Charnwood Forest and Coalville in the north-east to Hinckley and almost to Watling Street in the south and south-west. Its watershed almost coincides with Hinckley and Bosworth Borough of Leicestershire, which was formed in 1974 by amalgamation of Market Bosworth Rural District and Hinckley Urban District. It flows into the Anker, which in turn flows into the River Tame. It is part of the wider River Trent catchment, which covers much of central England. In 1881, Sebastian Evans wrote that the usual names for this river were Shenton Brook and Sibson Brook.

Merry Lees is a small settlement and industrial park located in the Hinckley and Bosworth district of Leicestershire, England. It forms as part of the Bagworth and Thornton civil parish. According to the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 1,836.

National Cycle Route 63 is a route of the National Cycle Network, running from Burton on Trent to Wisbech.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 An Historical Sketch of the Parishes of Thornton, Bagworth and Stanton-under-Bardon by the Rev H.R. Cooper, M.A. (printed 1905 by the Caxton Printing Works, High St, Ibstock. Leics.
  2. BBC News Report on church splitting in two