Thirsk is a small market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, it is 8 miles (13 km) south-south east of the county town of Northallerton.
According to the 2011 UK Census, the population was 4,998. Thirsk is a popular tourist destination close to the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It was the home of author James Herriot and birthplace of Thomas Lord, after whom Lord's Cricket Ground is named. Thirsk Racecourse is on the western edge of the town.
Clock in town centre
|Population||4,998 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||227 miles (365 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Archeological finds indicate that there was a settlement here around 500–600 BC. The town is mentioned twice in the Domesday Book as Tresche, in the Yarlestre hundred. At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was split between Orm and Thor, local Saxon landowners. Afterwards, it was split between Hugh, son of Baldric and the Crown. Most of the land was granted thereafter to Robert de Mowbray, after whom the surrounding vale is named.
By 1145, what is now Old Thirsk was known as a borough, while the remaining land in the parish was subject to manorial rights. The manor continued to be in the possession of the Mowbrays, despite several claims, until the death of the 16th Lord Mowbray in 1476. With no direct succession, it passed to the daughter of Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, who had married into the Berkeley family. Her son William de Berkeley, 1st Marquess of Berkeley then inherited it on her death. It remained with this family until 1723, when it was sold to Ralph Bell of Sowerby. It remained in the Bell family into the 20th century.
The Mowbrays built a castle on the north side of Castlegate. It is not mentioned in the Domesday Book and an exact date is not recorded, but the castle was completely destroyed by 1176 after the uprising against Henry II. The Mowbrays then built a manor house on the site, but this was destroyed by the Scots in 1322.
After the War of the Roses, Henry VII raised taxes, and that caused uprisings in the north. This led to the murder of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, allegedly on The Little Green, when he was sent to collect the taxes. However, other evidence points to the murder occurring in nearby South Kilvington
A 1767 Act of Parliament provided for building a navigable waterway to the town from the River Swale along Cod Beck. The project ran out of funds and was never completed, although remains can be seen of the wharf and a lock near Lock Bridge. The Thirsk Poor Law Union was formed in 1837 and covered a large part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. A workhouse was erected in Sutton Road in 1838.
A rail crash occurred at Manor House signal box on 2 November 1892, on the North Eastern Railway about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Thirsk railway station, when an express train collided with the back of a goods train, both heading south in fog. There were 10 people killed and 43 injured. Another rail crash occurred on 31 July 1967 at Thirsk on the British Rail East Coast Main Line. An express train travelling north collided with a derailed freight train on the same line. Seven people were killed and 45 were injured.
Thirsk was home to veterinary surgeon and author James Herriot (pen name of James Alfred Wight, OBE, FRCVS). He called Thirsk Darrowby in the semi-autobiographical books about a vet's life in the Yorkshire Dales. Wight and his business partner Donald Sinclair (Siegfried Farnon in the books) established their veterinary practice at 23 Kirkgate, which now houses The World of James Herriot museum dedicated to Herriot's life and works.
Thirsk is in the Thirsk and Malton Parliamentary constituency since its creation for the 2010 general election, before this it was in the Vale of York constituency. At the 2010 UK general election, Anne McIntosh was returned as the constituency's Member of Parliament. Representing the Conservative Party, she won the seat with 52.9% of the vote from a turnout of 50% of the eligible electorate. She stepped down at the 2015 UK general election, and was succeeded by Kevin Hollinrake.
The town was a parliamentary borough that had representation in 1295 and then from 1547 to 1885. For the majority of the latter period, it was represented by two members until 1882 when it was reduced to one member.
The constituency of Thirsk and Malton was originally created for the 1885 General Elections by the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 and existed until 1983. During that period it returned six Conservative party members to parliament, which included one by-election in 1915.
It gives its name to the local district ward of Hambleton District Council and to the local electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council. The town returns one Councillor to the County Council and three Councillors to the District Council. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 5,988.
The Civil Parish of Thirsk was created by the Local Government Act 1894. The Local Government Act 1972 afforded Parish Councils the opportunity to change titles. Thirsk renamed itself a Town Council. In so doing, the Chairman was also renamed as Mayor. The council is represented by eleven Councillors.
The village of Sowerby merges into Thirsk and could be described as a suburb of the town, but they are separate parishes. The boundary between the two parishes runs east from the railway station behind the buildings along the A61 as far as Millbank Court from where it runs through the middle of the road. It continues to divide the highway through Westgate and Castlegate as far as the junction with Chapel Street down which it also runs dividing the street in two. It then crosses Cod Beck and runs along Moor Lane Stell before ending at Barbeck Bridge. Thirsk Industrial Estate lies outside the parish boundary. Bordering parishes include South Kilvington, Thornborough, Thornton-le-Moor, Newsham, Sandhutton and Carlton Miniott (also the location of Thirsk railway station).
The 1881 UK Census recorded the population of the Parish as 3,337. The parish had a population of 4,703 according to the 2001 Census. The 2011 UK Census recorded the population as 4,998, an increase of 33% over the past 120 years, with a density of 3.9 people per hectare. Of the total population, 48.9% were male and 51.1% were female. The ethnic make up of the town was 94.3% White British, 3.0% Other White, 0.9% Asian British and 0.2% Black/Mixed and other Ethnic Groups. The religious composition of the town was 71.7% Christian, 27.4% None or no religion stated, 0.3% Muslim, 0.2% Buddhist, 0.1% Hindu, 0.1% Jewish and 0.0% Sikh.
Thirsk is built around a large medieval market square, which still hosts an open-air market each Monday and Saturday. The market was established in 1145 and is the focal point for local farmers, traders and visitors. The town was once known for its leather tanning and saddlery trade, but this was replaced in the 19th century by the production of farming implements. This was aided by the establishment of the Mechanics Institute in 1848.
The modern economy is based on hospitality, tourism, public administration, finance, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, small industrial, retail and service businesses. It is home to online retailer VetUK.
Tourism is an important part of the economy, with accommodations, restaurants and pubs as well as attractions that encourage visitors. Users of the worldwide TripAdvisor site recommend the following as some of the best things to do in and near Thirsk:
Thirsk also has a livestock auction mart on a large site at Blakey Lane on the A19, south-east of the town.
Thirsk has a museum with exhibits from across the whole history of the town. It is located in the house in which Thomas Lord was born. The adjoining village of Sowerby provides the town with its medical practices, cinema, town hall building and swimming pool.
The Ritz Cinema on Westgate, Sowerby is a small 200-seat (100 stalls, 100 balcony) cinema run by volunteers. It dates back to 1912 and is probably one of Britain's oldest operating cinemas. It shows in a period setting most of the current films and is run for residents and visitors to Thirsk and the local villages by a team of volunteers. In March 2012, the Ritz installed Digital projection equipment, purchased under a Digital Print Scheme through the Cinema Exhibitors' Association (CEA).
Arts charity Rural Arts is based at The Courthouse on Westgate. Running since 1992, it has a wide range of services including an award-winning cafe, an art gallery, a workshop where visiting artists can run workshops, and meeting rooms which can be booked. It also works with professional companies through its ON Tour scheme. Running since 1999, this is a rural touring scheme that gets professional, high-quality performance into the rural areas of North Yorkshire.
The station is 22.25 miles (36 km) north of York on the East Coast Main Line. The station is about 1.5 miles (2 km) outside the town centre and is actually on the edge of the village of Carlton Miniott.
There are four tracks, but only the outer two have platforms. From satellite imagery it can look as if there are platforms on the inner two tracks, but examination on the ground shows this not to be true. The railway station is operated by TransPennine Express. Other train services are provided by the open-access operator Grand Central.
Local bus services to and from York, Ripon and Northallerton and nearby villages and long distance National Express Coaches call at the bus stop in the market place.
The main road running through the town is the A61, connecting Thirsk to Ripon. The A19 road now passes Thirsk to the east of the town, after a bypass was built in 1972. The former route of the A19 through the town is the A61 to the north to South Kilvington and the A170 to the south at the junction where the A19 joins the original route to the south.
The town has one primary school, Thirsk Community Primary, the others being in adjoining Sowerby. It is within the catchment area of Thirsk School and Sixth Form College for secondary education. The current primary school was opened in 1979 with an extension added in 1991 to house extra classrooms, nursery section and medical facilities. Due to rises in the school population, some temporary build classrooms have also been erected on site. It is a mixed gender school catering for pupils between the ages of 3 and 11. It has a student capacity of 315 and as of 2013 was at 90.5% of that.
There is a 15th-century church dedicated to St Mary. The church is a Grade I Listed building. Before this building there had been smaller chapels erected in the town dedicated to St James, St Giles and St Nicholas.
There is a Friends Meeting House in Kirkgate that has been there since at least 1799. There is a Wesleyan Chapel in St James' Green that was built in 1861. The Roman Catholic Church dedicated to All Saints was built in 1867 in Castlegate. The Primitive Methodists and the Congregationalists also used to have places of worship in the town.
Thirsk Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue consisting of a left handed oval of about one mile and two furlongs. The present course opened in 1923, but racing had taken place on the old course over 200 years earlier. The racecourse serves flat racing in the spring and summer months.
Thirsk Cricket Club was founded in 1851 and play in the middle of the local racecourse. The club was a founder member of the York & District League in which they still compete. Also located at the facilities on the racecourse are Thirsk Hockey Club, who have been affiliated to the Yorkshire Hockey Association since 1923. Until the local Secondary School laid a floodlit artificial sports pitch, the club played on grass pitches that formed the out field of the Cricket Club. They still share the Cricket Clubhouse for social facilities.
Thirsk Falcons FC are a football club that compete in the Teesside Football League, which is at the 13th level of the English football league system. Thirsk RUFC is a Rugby Union Club which competes in the Yorkshire Division 4 North West league. Other sports played in the town are Tennis, Bowls, Athletics and Archery.
The Thirsk rail crash happened at Manor House signal box on 2 November 1892, on the North Eastern Railway about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Thirsk railway station in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England.1915 Thirsk and Malton by-election
The Thirsk and Malton by-election, 1915 was a parliamentary by-election held on 12 February 1915 for the British House of Commons constituency of Thirsk and Malton in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
The seat had become vacant when the sitting Conservative Member of Parliament Viscount Helmsley succeeded to the peerage as the 2nd Earl of Feversham. He had held the seat since the 1906 general election.
The Conservative candidate, 57-year-old Edmund Turton, was returned unopposed and held the seat until his death at the age of 71, three weeks before the 1929 general election.
This was the only by-election held in the Thirsk & Malton constituency, which was created in 1885 and abolished in 1983. However, at the 2010 general election, the death of a candidate forced the parliamentary election in the current Thirsk & Malton constituency to be delayed, so that it was held three weeks later than in every other constituency.1967 Thirsk rail crash
The Thirsk rail crash occurred on 31 July 1967 at Thirsk, Yorkshire, England on the British Rail East Coast Main Line.A170 road
The A170 is an A road in North Yorkshire, England that links Thirsk with Scarborough through Pickering. The road is 47 miles (76 km); a single carriageway for almost its totality.
The route has been in existence since prehistoric times and there are folk-tales about famous people from history using it. When turnpikes were installed between York and Coxwold, drovers would take their cattle this way because it was wide enough and meant they avoided paying the tolls.A19 road
The A19 is a major road in England running approximately parallel to and east of the A1 road. Although the two roads meet at the northern end of the A19, the two roads originally met at the southern end of the A19 in Doncaster, but the old route of the A1 was changed to the A638. From Sunderland northwards, the route was formerly the A108. In the past the route was known as the East of Snaith-York-Thirsk-Stockton-on-Tees-Sunderland Trunk Road. Most traffic joins the A19, heading for Teesside, from the A168 at Dishforth Interchange.Cod Beck, North Yorkshire
Cod Beck is a river in North Yorkshire, England. It has a catchment area of 209 km2 (81 sq mi).
The river extends for 20 miles (32 km) from above Cod Beck Reservoir at Osmotherley on the edge of the North York Moors through Thirsk and on to join the River Swale at Topcliffe.Cod Beck has a long history of flooding Thirsk and a feasibility study completed in April 2005 recommended additional flood defences and upstream storage. In 2011, a proposed flood defence scheme in Thirsk was cancelled due to the Environment Agency having its budget cut by 41%.The name Cod Beck is a derivative of Cold Beck, where beck is smaller than a river; the stream runs deep between banks, so is always fairly cool. Cod fish are not found in fresh water.Hambleton District
Hambleton is a local government district of North Yorkshire, England. The main town and administrative centre is Northallerton, and the district also includes the market towns and major villages of Bedale, Thirsk, Great Ayton, Stokesley, and Easingwold.
The district was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974, as a merger of the urban district of Northallerton with Bedale Rural District, Easingwold Rural District, Northallerton Rural District, and part of Thirsk Rural District, Stokesley Rural District and Croft Rural District, all in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
The district is named after the Hambleton Hills, part of the North York Moors National Park, on the eastern edge of the district. This area is the subject of a national habitat protection scheme as articulated in the United Kingdom's Biodiversity Action Plan.James Herriot
James Alfred Wight, OBE, FRCVS (3 October 1916 – 23 February 1995), known by the pen name James Herriot, was a British veterinary surgeon and writer who used his many years of experiences as a veterinary surgeon to write a series of books consisting of stories about animals and their owners. He is best known for these semi-autobiographical works, beginning with If Only They Could Talk in 1970, which spawned a series of movies and television series.Jason Thirsk
Jason Matthew Thirsk (December 25, 1967 – July 29, 1996) was the bass player of the California punk rock band Pennywise from 1988 through his death in 1996. He grew up in Hermosa Beach, California.
Pennywise was formed in 1988 by Thirsk along with singer Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, and drummer Byron McMackin. Thirsk did not like to travel. Thirsk had been in rehabilitation for alcoholism and suffered from depression, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 28. The band decided to continue making music after Thirsk's death, and brought in bass guitarist Randy Bradbury from One Hit Wonder. The band then set about writing an album of new material which was made up of mostly anti-suicide messages. One of Pennywise's most popular songs, "Bro Hymn", was originally written by Thirsk as a tribute to three of his friends: Tim Colvin, Carlos Canton, who died in a car accident, and Tom Nichols, who drowned at Hermosa Beach Pier in 1988. The band re-recorded the song after his death as a tribute to their fallen bandmate, replacing the line "Canton, Colvin, Nichols, this one's for you" with "Jason Matthew Thirsk, this one's for you", and renaming the track "Bro Hymn Tribute". It appears as the final track on Full Circle and a live version can also be found on Live @ the Key Club, released in 2000. Justin Thirsk, Jason's brother and drummer from 98 Mute, appears on the re-recording, both on drums and vocals.Leeds Northern Railway
The Leeds Northern Railway (LNR), originally the Leeds and Thirsk Railway, was an English railway company that built and opened a line from Leeds to Stockton via Harrogate and Thirsk. In 1845 the Leeds and Thirsk Railway received permission for a line from Leeds to Thirsk, part of which opened in 1848, but problems building the Bramhope Tunnel delayed trains operating into Leeds until 1849.
The Leeds and Thirsk Railway Company changed its name to the Leeds Northern Railway on 3 July 1851 before its line to Stockton opened. The company formed an alliance with the West Hartlepool Harbour & Railway and was involved in a price war with the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway (YN&BR). A merger of the YN&BR with the LNR and the York & North Midland Railway was accepted by LNR shareholders, and by Royal Assent on 31 July 1854 the three companies merged to become the North Eastern Railway.
Today, sections of the former Leeds Northern Railway line form the Harrogate Line between Leeds and Harrogate, and the Northallerton to Stockton Line.Robert Thirsk
Robert Brent "Bob" Thirsk, (born August 17, 1953) is a Canadian engineer and physician, and a former Canadian Space Agency astronaut. He holds the Canadian records for the longest space flight (187 days 20 hours) and the most time spent in space (204 days 18 hours). He became an officer of the Order of Canada (OC) in 2013 and was named to the Order of British Columbia (OBC) in 2012.Thirsk (UK Parliament constituency)
Thirsk was a parliamentary borough in Yorkshire, represented in the English and later British House of Commons in 1295, and again from 1547. It was represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832, and by one member from 1832 to 1885, when the constituency was abolished and absorbed into the new Thirsk and Malton division of the North Riding of Yorkshire.
The borough consisted of originally of the town of Old Thirsk, and included a population of only 1,378 at the 1831 census. The right to vote was restricted to the holders of burgage tenements, of which there were 50 in 1831. The Frankland family were the local landowners (in 1816 Sir Thomas owned 49 of the 50 burgage tenements), and in effect could nominate whoever they wanted as Members of Parliament; there was no contested election in Thirsk between 1715 and 1832.
The Great Reform Act of 1832 expanded the boundaries to include the townships of Thirsk, Sowerby, Carlton Miniott, Sandhutton, Bagby and South Kilvington, increasing the population to 4,672 and encompassing 1,064 houses, which was considered big enough for the borough to retain one of its two members.Thirsk Racecourse
Thirsk Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England. The course is a left handed oval of about 1 mile 2 furlongs with a 3 furlong finishing straight and a 6 furlong chute. The present course opened in 1923, but racing had taken place on the old course over 200 years earlier.The racecourse is owned the Bell family of Thirsk.
The main road from Ripon to Thirsk runs past the course, and it is very popular with northern trainers.In 1940 it staged the war-time substitute St. Leger.Thirsk School and Sixth Form College
Thirsk School and Sixth Form College is a secondary school located in Sowerby, a village adjoining Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England.
Thirsk School has nearly 1,200 pupils, including about 200 in the sixth form. It has sporting and musical links with clubs and visiting celebrities (including Dennis Rollins in 2011–12), which were shown on Look North. It has also received visits from Holocaust survivor, Arek Hersh, MBE. Thirsk School & Sixth Form College has some of the best GCSE/A Level exam results in the area.The headteacher is Emma Lambden who took over from Stuart Mason who left in 2018 to take up a senior post in Norfolk.
In 2012 an Ofsted inspection rated Thirsk School as Grade 2 (good) for all areas and overall effectiveness.School extracurricular activities include music, sport and drama. The school also has its own newspaper, The Falcon. Under the previous name of T.S. Times, the school paper was named the best secondary school newspaper in the country, in a competition run by First News.Thirsk and Malton (UK Parliament constituency)
Thirsk and Malton is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Kevin Hollinrake, a Conservative.Thirsk and Malton line
The Thirsk and Malton line was a railway line that ran from a triangular junction on what is now the East Coast Main Line and served eight villages between Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire, England. The line was built after a protracted process due to inefficiencies and financial problems suffered by the then York and North Midland Railway.
The line was opened in 1853 and connected with the Malton and Driffield Junction Railway at Scarborough Road Junction just east of Malton. The entire route was initially envisaged as a through route between Hull and Glasgow, but it mostly ended up serving the local communities on the line. Express workings regularly used it between Scarborough and Newcastle, but they were reduced to a slower speed than usual because of the lower speeds on the rural lines. The line closed to passengers between Gilling and Malton in December 1930. The section from the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to Gilling was retained after closure as the branch from Gilling to Pickering did not close to passengers until 1953 with complete closure coming in 1964.Thirsk railway station
Thirsk railway station is on the East Coast Main Line in the United Kingdom, serving the town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire. It is 210 miles 56 chains (339.1 km) down the line from London King's Cross and is situated between York to the south and Northallerton to the north. Its three-letter station code is THI.
The station is about 1.5 miles (2 km) outside of Thirsk town centre and is actually on the edge of the village of Carlton Miniott.
There are four tracks, but only the outer two have platforms. From satellite imagery it can look as if there are platforms on the inner two tracks, but examination on the ground shows this not to be true; the platform faces serving the innermost pair of tracks were removed in the 1970s in preparation for higher-speed main line running using InterCity 125 trains. The station is operated by TransPennine Express. Other train services are provided by the open-access operator Grand Central.YO postcode area
The YO postcode area, also known as the York postcode area, is a group of postcode districts around Bridlington, Driffield, Filey, Malton, Pickering, Scarborough, Selby, Thirsk, Whitby and York in England.Yorkshire 4
Yorkshire 4 is an English Rugby Union league at the tenth tier of the domestic competition for teams from Yorkshire. Club rugby in Yorkshire operates without promotion play-offs meaning that the top two teams are automatically promoted to Yorkshire 3 and the bottom two teams were relegated to Yorkshire 5 until the RFU made changes to the Yorkshire league structure. Each season a team from Yorkshire 3 or Yorkshire 4 may be picked to take part in the RFU Junior Vase - a national competition for clubs at levels 9-12.
For the 2017-18 season, Yorkshire 4 was broken up into two regional leagues - Yorkshire 4 (North West) and Yorkshire 4 (South East) - while Yorkshire 5 ceased to exist. Teams from both Yorkshire 4 and 5 were transferred into the regional divisions depending on location with promotion to Yorkshire 3 ultimately decided after a final round of fixtures featuring the top four clubs from each division playing in a Premier division with the remaining clubs participating in a Shield division.
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