THORMANBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer West - Electoral Division of Stillington - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Easingwold - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This is a small parish containing 982 acres, belonging wholly, with the exception of 12 acres held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to Viscount Downe, who is also lord of the manor. It is intersected by the great north road, and skirted by the Thirsk and Malton railway. The nearest station is Pilmoor, on the North Eastern line, 2½ miles distant. The soil is generally fertile; rateable value, £1,474; population, 135.

The village occupies an elevated situation on the great north road, four miles N.W. of Easingwold. The terminal syllable of the name indicates a Danish origin, and the other portion evidently has some connection with Thor, the Norse equivalent of Thunor, the thunder god of the Saxons. Thorman (Thor and mundr a gift) was probably the name of the Danish chief who fixed his settlement here.

Very little is known of this place before the Conquest. In the time of Edward the Confessor, Thormanby was one of the ten townships constituting the Saxon manor of Easingwold. In Domesday Book it is written Tormozbi, and was then held of the king in capite by Robert Malet, a Norman, who is said to have received from the Conqueror thirty lordships in the county of York. Aschil or Arkil had previous to the Conquest possessed the manor and four carucates of land; and Gamel had half a carucate. Arkil was a Dane, whose memory still lives in the name of Arklegarthdale, which was once a part of his domain. Gamel was a noble Saxon, whose name survives in Gamelthorpe, now contracted and corrupted into Ganthorpe. His son Orm was lord of Kirkdale. The Slingsby family of Scriven Hall, Knaresborough, is said to be interlineally descended from this old Saxon stock. Thormanby Hall, which Gill in his "Vallis Eboracensis" styles ivy-bound castle, though mostly rebuilt within recent years, still retains a few traces of antiquity about it. It was evidently once a place of some note, "but its history is buried in oblivion." It is now in the occupation of a farmer.

The church (All Saints', though in 1495 it was said to be St. Mary Magdalen) is a small ancient edifice consisting of nave, chancel, and a brick tower added in 1822, In the north wall are two arches with pillars of a semi-Norman character built into the wall, but formerly opening into a north aisle which has been removed, The chancel arch is pointed and lofty, The chancel was restored and a new vestry built about five years ago by the present rector. This church was given at an early period to the nunnery of Molesby or Moxby, to which it paid an annual pension of 13s. 4d. Since the dissolution of that convent, the rectory has been in the alternate presentation of the Lords Downe and the Cayleys, Baronets. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £246, which represents the value of the living. There are 38 acres of glebe and a rectory house.

There is a small Wesleyan Chapel in the village, built in 1875.

Rent-charges amounting to £6 15s. per annum have been left to the poor of the parish.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.