"This small parish comprises an area of 1347 acres, of which 7 are covered by water. There are 129 acres of arable land, 1033 laid down in permanent grass, and 61 of woods and plantations. The soil is stiff clay with a subsoil of clay, gravel and limestone rock, and wheat, oats, barley and beans are grown. The greatest height, 385 ft. above the ordnance datum, is reached in the south-east, from where the land falls away to 236 ft. in the north-west, where the River Ouse forms the parish and also the county boundary for some distance. It widens out into a small lake where it flows past the lawn of Thornton House, the seat of Mr. H. W. Harris, which stands in a park of 181 acres and is approached from the Beachampton road by an avenue of elm trees." [© copyright of the editors of The Victoria Histories of the Counties of England]


The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Buckingham Hundred, Volume 7", Peter Quick.



War Memorials

War memorials in Thornton have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Buckingham Hundred, Volume 7", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1642 there were 23 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £8.1.3 of which sum Sir Edward Tyrrill knight and baronet contributed £5.0.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 24 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Thornton.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 85 inhabitants in 14 families living in 14 houses recorded in Thornton.

Census Year Population of Thornton
1801* 85
1811* 70
1821* 78
1831* 94
1841 101
1851 103
1861 111
1871 103
1881 67
1891 80
1901 78

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.


Church History

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Michael & All Angels, Thornton have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1562 - 1778
Marriages 1607 - 1988
Burials 1562 - 1777

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
1562 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1562 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1562 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Thornton showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
St Michael & All Angels
70 - Morning General Congregation


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Thornton which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Thornton has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Thornton was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

THORNTON, in the hundred and deanery of Buckingham, lies about four miles to the north-east of the county town. The manor was anciently in the families of Iveri and St. Walery. From the latter it passed in marriage to Robert de Dreux, who was succeeded by the families of Hareng and Savage. About the year 1264, it became the property of the Chastillons, who had a seat at Thornton and were of considerable consequence in the county for more than a century, during the greater part of which time some of the family were knights of the shire. In 1414 this manor passed by purchase to the Bartons, and from them in 1464 to the Ingeltons. Robert Ingelton of this place was Chancellor of the Exchequer to King Edward IV. Jane, only daughter of George Ingelton, who died in 1503, married Humphrey Tyrrell (of the ancient family of Tyrrells of Essex) who seated himself at Thornton and was ancestor of the Tyrells of this place, the Tyrrells of Castlethorp, and the Tyrrells of Oakley in this county. Sir Edward Tyrell of Thornton was created a baronet in 1627: the title became extinct by the death of Sir Thomas Tyrrell bart. in 1755. Thornton is now the property and seat of Thomas Sheppard esq. whose mother (the lady of Dr. Cotton) was daughter of Sir Charles Tyrrell bart. cousin and immediate predecessor of Sir Thomas Tyrrell above mentioned.

The ancient seat of the Tyrrells was modernized by the late Dr. Cotton: Browne Willis describes it as a quadrangular building of great antiquity and speaks of a noble gallery 125 feet in length.

The parish church has been very neatly and commodiously fitted up by the present lord of the manor, but the antiquary will regret the removal of the ancient monuments. The effigies on brass plates of Robert Ingelton, chancellor of the exchequer, who died in 1472, and his three wives, and that of Jane Ingelton, who brought Thornton to the Tyrrells, are all in remarkably fine preservation, but cannot be expected to remain so much longer, for the altar tombs on which they were fixed, having been removed, they are now placed on the ground on each side of the altar. The effigies in alabaster of John Barton, founder of a chantry at Thornton, who died in 1443, and that of his wife Isabella, have been removed from under an arch between the church and chancel to the west end, where they now occupy each side of the entrance to the church. There are no memorials for the family of Tyrrell, excepting a tablet for the last baronet. Mr. Sheppard is patron of the rectory. William Bredon, rector of this parish, who died in 1638, was celebrated for his skill in calculating nativities, and had a share in composing Sir Christopher Heydon's Judicial Astrology.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP752358 (Lat/Lon: 52.01554, -0.905645), Thornton which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name of Thornton derives from the old english words thorn + tun, and means 'thorn-tree farm'.