A brief history of Thornton-Le-Moor
The History of Thornton-le-Moor is as broad as it is deep and it can be traced back through the ages to the Roman occupation.
During the Roman occupation of Britain, two roads were constructed to the east of Thornton-le-Moor, branching out from a camp at Thornton le Street. One, which would roughly follow the route of today’s A168, serviced a fort at Northallerton before travelling northwest to Catterick. The other, remains of which can still be seen today, passed north east to eventually cross the River Tees at Dinsdale.
These roads would play a major role in shaping the future, as they would invite future generations, friend and foe to this area.
A History of Brewing in Thornton-Le-Moor...
The brewing of ale in Thornton-le-Moor dates back to the mid eighteenth century and subsequently played an important part in village life and its economy for almost 200 years. The legacy and many reminders of the village brewery live on today, almost 100 years since active brewing finished.
In May 1732 Simon Walker, a Yeoman, sold a dwelling and garth for £80 to Thomas Peacock, a Gent. This property became the Black Swan Inn and it was purchased in 1737 by William Sadler who started the first brewery in Thornton-le-Moor. This brewery stayed in the Sadler family for over 100 years. The ownership then passed briefly to Robert Dennison, and on his death three years later it was willed to Messrs Richardson, Carter and Armitage. Little is known of the detail of the brewery in those early days when under the ownership of these three it remained as a very small local village brewery. It was from these gentlemen that the brewery was purchased by the man who would develop it into a thriving, successful business in the latter half of the 19th century, Mr Newsome Baxter.
By the time Newsome Baxter purchased the brewery, in November 1851, it had already moved from the Black Swan to its final home on the other side of the village street, behind the property now known as Brewery House, some 100 yards east of the Black Swan public house. This move was undoubtedly influenced by the need for land to expand, whilst maintaining an excellent water supply. The move had taken place in the mid 1830s during its period in the Sadler ownership.
The story of Bill Kitching who farmed in Thornton-le-Moor can be found here