Historical Documents

We are fortunate to have a range of documents that provide an insight into life in Thornton Steward over the years and into the lives of some of the much loved characters who are no longer with us. 

Click on the links below to see these fascinating letters, articles and photographs.

1.   Copies of letters to Charles Darwin, relating to and from the Reverend Fitch - instituted as Vicar of Thornton Steward in 1849.




1.1   Copy of a Letter from Hyacinth Hooker (2nd wife of the head of Kew Gardens) to Charles Darwin. 

1.2   Letter to Charles Darwin from Adam Fitch re. Potatoes, 20 December 1879.

1.3   Letter to Charles Darwin from Adam Fitch re. Cauliflours, 20 July 1877.

1.4   Letter to Charles Darwin from Adam Fitch re. Peas, 18 November 1862.

2.   Copies of correspondence from Charles Darwin and Adam Fitch on the subject of Peas. These have been transcribed and compiled in a database under the 'Darwin Correspondence Project'.

2.1   Letter from Charles Darwin to the Gardeners' Chronicle before 8 November 1862 re. Knight's Tall Blue and White Marrow Peas.

2.2   Transcription of handwritten letter (see 1.4 above) from Adam Fitch to Charles Darwin in response to his request for information about peas. (See 2.1 above)

3.   Copies of official records from various sources.

3.1   Entry for Thornton Steward in the Post Office Directory for North Riding York, 1879. As well as describing its location and main features, the names of people in key positions and operating commercial businesses are also listed.

3.2   Copy of two pages from 'Yorkshire Lay Subsidies', showing Thornton Steward and nearby villages.

3.3   The Enumerator's Schedule for Thornton Steward, for the 1841 England Census.

3.4   Description of the Thornton Steward Enumeration District and a list of the properties included within the boundary for the 1851 England Census.

4.   Newspaper articles

4.1   Dales skeletons finally laid to rest - A fascinating and moving account of the discovery  of 17 skeletons in an ancient burial ground dating back to approximately 660 to 1200AD.

4.2   The Thornton Steward Heritage Trail booklet

4.3   Further clippings relating to the launch of the Thornton Steward Heritage Trail booklet.   

5.   Former Residents and photographs of the village from the past

5.1   Robert C. Swayne, vicar of Thornton Steward from 1917 - A description by his grandson, Robert Bullen, together with a photograph.

5.2   Photos of the village looking west and east.

5.3   Further photos of the village, kindly supplied by Keith Dixon, former owner of Cherry Cottage.

5.4   A group of young residents.

5.5   The popular game of quoits, played by 70-year-old resident Mr Harry Cherry and friends.

5.6   A group of children who used to be taken swimming in the 1970's.

5.7   Anita Binnerts (1913 - 2001) - Former resident of The Villa

5.8   Pamela Violet Henderson (1917 - 2003) - Former resident of The Manse

5.9   Joyce Hamilton Fawcett (1921 - 2005) - Former resident of The Old Post Office

5.10   Alwyn Mary Newby (1927 - 2007) - Former Resident of Stonefold

5.11   Katharine Mary Fell (1913-2007) 

5.12   Thornton Steward School Photo (1937-38) - Kindly provided by Mr Percy Sadler, former resident of Thornton Steward. Percy himself can be seen on the right of the three boys in the second row from the front. 

6.0 Buildings


6.1   The Blacksmith's Shop

6.2   The Manse

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