Thorley, Hertfordshire

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St James the Great Church, Thorley - - 234170.jpg
St James the Great Church, Thorley
Thorley is located in Hertfordshire
Thorley shown within Hertfordshire
Population 626 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid reference TL 476 189
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CM23
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°50′49″N 0°08′57″E / 51.847°N 0.1491°E / 51.847; 0.1491Coordinates: 51°50′49″N 0°08′57″E / 51.847°N 0.1491°E / 51.847; 0.1491

Thorley is a civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, encompassing the hamlets Thorley Street, Thorley Wash and Old Thorley; near Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire. It is mentioned in the Domesday book as Torlei, belonging to Geoffrey de Mandeville, a notable Norman Baron. During the reign of Edward the Confessor, Thorley Manor belonged to Earl Tostig.

Thorley has its own cricket club: Thorley CC and it lends its name to the nearby housing estate, Thorley Park. A very successful primary school, Manor Fields, is situated within the estate. Thorley Wash nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest owned and managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust between the village and the Stort Navigation.[2]

Thorley Church, dedicated to St James the Great, dates from the 13th century and boasts a Norman font and a three-seat sedilia. The pulpit was designed by Gilbert Scott. There is a one-thousand-year-old yew tree in the graveyard, which also has the grave of Daniel Defoe's sister. The graveyard is entered through a fine lychgate dating from the 1920s . The stocks and whipping post that stood in the graveyard until the late 20th century have now been moved to the Bishop's Stortford Museum. Samuel Horsley was rector of the Church from 1779–1782, following in the footsteps of his father John, who was rector from 1745-1777.[3] From 1594 to 1610, the rector was Francis Burley, one of the translators of the King James Bible[4]

The 16th century Tudor Barn in the adjoining farm was converted from pig barn to church and community centre in 1996 with the help of a £1 million endowment.

Thorley is near the housing estate of St Michael's Mead, within walking distance from Bishops Stortford town centre. It is now a district of Bishop's Stortford.


Thorley was the place where the criminal Harry Roberts was found by police during a long manhunt after he had participated in the murder of three London based policemen. He was found in a barn hiding under straw.

See also[edit]

The Hundred Parishes


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Thorley Wash". Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Bishop's Stortford and Thorley history and guide
  4. ^ "Friends of St James". Retrieved 10 October 2016. 

External links[edit]