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During the Battle of Hastings (1066) one of William the Conquerors noblemen, ROBERT DE BRUS 1, marched north with a garrison of men and occupied the area of Cleveland. William gave him those lands to control including Thornaby and Middlesbrough.
Sweyn,the then King of Denmark was not happy with the idea of the Normans ruling over his people in the north and so , on Sept.9th 1069 he defeated the Normans at York by killing the entire garrison of 3000 men. William swore an oath to avenge Sweyn by destroting every house and dwelling in the lands under Sweyns rule, so leaving all the land in the north east of Yorkshire barren and bare.
This is why in Thornaby`s first mention in the Domeday Book it states:- " Robert Malet has these lands and they are waste." It appears they stayed waste until the early 19 th. century as " Thurnaby waaste " is mentioned in a poem by Tennyson called "The Northern Farmer.".
More Thornaby History courtesy of the Northern Echo
Thornaby was the village settled by a Viking called Thormad or Thormoth. The letters 'by' at the end of the name signify a Viking settlement, most probably of Danish origin. Over the centuries there have been a number of different spellings of the name Thornaby including Turmozbi, Thormozbi and Tormozbia in the eleventh century. Later spellings included Thormodby, Thormodebi, Thormotebi, Thormotheby and Thormotby. The form Thornaby first appears in 1665 and refers to old Thornaby village near the River Tees. In the nineteenth century old Thornaby, centred on St Peters Church and the old village green was gradually overshadowed by the burgeoning town of South Stockton. South Stockton was on the Yorkshire side of the Tees opposite Stockton on Tees. South Stockton, became the site of a pottery in 1825 and quickly grew with the establishment of shipbuilding and engineering in the area. Gradually South Stockton grew so big that it swallowed up the little village of Thornaby. On the sixth October 1892 South Stockton and Old Thornaby merged into one to form the municipal borough of Thornaby on Tees.
Gravestones behind St.Peters date back to 1726.
Genuki History of Thornaby