[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"THURNING, a parish partly in the hundred of Polebrook, county Northampton, and partly in Leightonstone, county Huntingdon, 5 miles south-east of Oundle, its post town, and 13 north-west of Huntingdon. The village is situated on a branch of the river Ouse. The land is partly in common, interspersed with wood. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £181, in the patronage of Emanuel College, Cambridge. The church is dedicated to St. James. The parochial charities produce about £1 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes. The Earl of Sandwich is lord of the manor."
A surname index of the 1881 Census of the Oundle Registration District of Northamptonshire, in which Thurning w as enumerated (RG11/1584, Folios 51a - 55a), and which took place on 3rd April 1881, is available as fiche C1 from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the Huntingdonshire (Miscellaneous Parishes) Registration District in which Thurning was enumerated, and which took place on 5th April 1891, has also been produced by the Huntingdonshire FHS (as Fiche C-16) from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
The church of St James consists of a chancel, north chapel - formerly the vestry, north vestry - formerly a chapel at the end of the aisle, nave, north aisle, south aisle, west turret and south porch. The walls are of coursed rubble with stone dressings, and the roofs are covered with lead.
The church is not mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 but, by the middle of the 12th century, there was a stone church consisting of a chancel with an aisle-less nave, the latter being about the same size as the present. About 1190, a north aisle was added and somewhat early in the 13th century, the nave and aisle was lengthened one bay to the west. in about 1300, the south aisle was added; probably the arcade and the aisle walls are all of the same date, although there is a strange mixture of details - probably due to the employment of an aged mason. Possibly the north aisle was rebuilt a little later, and later still (around 1340) the chancel was rebuilt. Considerable alterations were made in the 15th century; the western bay of the nave was taken down and a new west wall, with a bell-turrett and spirelet above it, was built. Some extensive alterations took place in 1850.
In 1880-81, the north aisle and vestry, the clearstory, the west wall of the nave, and the west wall of the south aisle were taken down and rebuilt with old materials, and the rest of the church was restored. The chancel was restored again in 1902, when the vestry and north chapel were altered and rearranged.
The Huntingdonshire Marriage Indexes include marriages from this parish. These are, at present, issued in alphabetical listings in series: 1601-1700, and 1701-1754, and are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.