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Thornhill, West Yorkshire

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Title: Thornhill, West Yorkshire  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Paul March, Dewsbury, Dominion (British band), Thornhill Community Academy, Geography of Dewsbury
Collection: Geography of Dewsbury, Heavy Woollen District, Villages in West Yorkshire
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Thornhill, West Yorkshire

Thornhill is located in West Yorkshire
 Thornhill shown within West Yorkshire
Population 6,875 (2005)
OS grid reference
Metropolitan borough Kirklees
Metropolitan county West Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DEWSBURY
Postcode district WF12
Dialling code 01924
Police West Yorkshire
Fire West Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Dewsbury
List of places

Thornhill, is a village in Dewsbury, Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Thornhill was absorbed into Dewsbury County Borough in 1910. It is located on a hill on the south side of the River Calder, and has extensive views of Dewsbury, Ossett and Wakefield. It is known for its collection of Anglo-Saxon crosses.


  • History 1
  • Governance 2
  • Geography 3
  • Schools 4
  • Entertainment 5
  • Sports 6
  • Amenities 7
  • Survey of English Dialects site 8
  • Notable people 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Thornhill is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, but Anglo-Saxon crosses and other remains indicate that there was a settlement here by the 9th century. In 1320 Edward II granted a charter for a market and a fair.[1]

In the reign of Henry III Thornhill Hall was the seat of the Thornhill family, who intermarried with the De Fixbys and Babthorpes in the reigns of Edward I and Edward II. In the reign of Edward III, Elizabeth Thornhill, the only child of Simon Thornhill, married Sir Henry Savile. This extinguished the family line of Thornhills of Thornhill which now passed its property down the Savile line. Thornhill now became the seat of the powerful Savile family. [10]

This is the original coat of arms for the Thornhill family, before they married in with the Saviles.

The Saviles later intermarried with the Calverley family as well, so that when Sir John Savile died in 1503 in Thornhill, he left provision in his will for his sister Alice, married to Sir William Calverley.[2]

The Saviles remained here until the English Civil War when the house was besieged, (having been previously fortified by Sir William Savile, the third baronet of the family), taken and demolished by the forces of Parliament. Some ruins of the house and the moat still remain at Thornhill Rectory Park.[11] This large house had a secret underground passage, that lead to Thornhill Parish Church. [12] just a few hundred yards away from the park. The passage remained until the early 1990s when it was filled in due to safety reasons.

Monuments to members of the Thornhill and Savile families are in Thornhill Parish Church. [13]

Thornhill has close ties to coal-mining. In 1893 a mining disaster at Combs Pit killed 139 coal miners. Thornhill Colliery resulted from the merging of Inghams and Combs Collieries in 1948 but closed in 1971.


Historically Thornhill (St. Michael) was a large ecclesiastical parish in the wapentake of Agbrigg, West Riding of Yorkshire which joined the Dewsbury Poor Law Union in 1837. In 1894 it was an urban district and in 1910 it was incorporated into Dewsbury County Borough.[3]


Thornhill is situated on a hill on the south side of the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation. The township covered 2,486 acres (10.06 km2) and the underlying rock comprises coal measures. Thornhill encompasses the areas of Thornhill Edge, Overthorpe and Foxroyd overlooking the valleys of the Howroyd Beck and Smithy Brook.[1]


The Thornhill area has two junior schools: Overthorpe (C of E) Junior and Infants and Thornhill Junior and Infants School. Thornhill Community Academy is the area's secondary school, with a GCSE pass rate of 84% in 2010, an increase of 22 percentage points from 2009. Recently the school has undergone various modifications, and is now a Science College. Much of the school has been refurbished and modernised. Construction of a new sports hall was completed in April 2007 and includes a new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).


Thornhill has several public houses. The Black Horse is a small public house in the south of Thornhill. The Scarborough is a medium-sized traditional public house on the edge of Frank Lane. The Flatt Top is a small public house on the corner of Albion Road, serving traditionally brewed local ales. The Alma is also situated at the north of Thornhill, there is also one other pub up the road from the Alma next to the church called the Savile Arms that serves a range of traditionally brewed real ales as well as regularly having guest ales. There are also several sports clubs and working men's clubs.


Thornhill is home to the Thornhill Trojans [14], a rugby league team who are currently in the National Conference League Premier Division.[15] The area also boasts several football teams Overthorpe Sports who play in the West Riding County Amateur League (Premier Division) on Saturdays and Overthorpe Town who play in the Heavy Woollen Sunday League (First Division).

The club has recently been awarded FA Charter Standard status as an adult club and has ambitious plans to increase participation in the game in the next three years. Thornhill United is located at rectory park. There is several rugby league youth teams. The Thornhill rugby club, located in Overthorpe Park, houses the changing rooms for the local rugby and football teams.

Community facilities open to the public include a football pitch, rugby pitch and basketball court, a mini rugby pitch frequently used by the rugby club itself for the under tens junior team and the new sports hall, with the Multi-Use Games Area located at the local secondary school (the Community Science College at Thornhill).

Thornhill is home to the Savile Bowmen, an archery club that shoots at Thornhill Cricket and Bowls Club [16]. Three tennis courts are situated next to Thornhill Cricket and Bowls Club. This is home to Thornhill Tennis Club which currently have two teams in the Huddersfield and District Tennis League.


There are a number of local shops and off-licences in Thornhill and numerous takeaways ranging from traditional English to Italian cuisine. The nearest large supermarkets are in Dewsbury, which is connected by public transport. The area has two post offices with limited services. Overthorpe Post Office has recently undergone building work and is now part of the Londis franchise. Other shops and services include a florist, dental surgery, beauty salon, a computer repair shop and several fish and chip shops; one of which doubles as a Chinese takeaway.

Survey of English Dialects site

The area was also covered by the Survey of English Dialects owing to the belief that it was a hotbed of Yorkshire dialect [17]. A 2005 study compared the 1964 Thornhill recording with a recording from nearby Ossett in 1999 [18].

Notable people


  1. ^ a b Lewis, Samuel (1848), "Thornhill St Michael", A Topographical Dictionary of England (British History Online): 335–337, retrieved 2010-10-10 
  2. ^ Will of Sir John Savile, J. W. Clay, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 1920
  3. ^ Thornhill CP/AP,  

External links

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