Thornton, Bradford .
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Thornton is a rural village in Bradford, West Yorkshire; it was mentioned in the Domesday Book of the 11th century, when it had been laid waste by William the Conqueror's harrying of the North, punishment for an uprising against the Norman invaders of 1066.

The preserved centre of the village retains the character of a typical Pennine village, with stone built houses with stone flagged roofs; the surrounding areas consist of more modern housing, still isolated from the rest of the city by green fields.

Its elevation, poor soils, isolation from major transport routes and rainfall of over 34 inches a year limited farm production, but the presence of coal, iron and sandstone, the development of turnpike roads and the coming of the railways enabled Thornton to share in the prosperity generated by the 19th century wool worsted trade; the increasing use of steam powered mills, at the expense of the former cottage-industry production methods, concentrated production in the valleys of the city centre; the Second World War and closure of the railways eventually relegated Thornton to its present status as a residential suburb of Bradford.

Thornton viaduct was a railway viaduct for the GNR line running from Queensbury to Keighley via Thornton; it was built in an S-shape to allow a smooth access to Thornton station; the viaduct is now a Grade II listed building; the viaduct was reopened as part of the Great Northern Railway Trail between Cullingworth and Queensbury along the track bed in 2008.

Thornton's most famous residents were the Brontës; the Rev Patrick Brontë became the incumbent of Thornton Chapel in 1815 and Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne Brontë were born at 74, Market Street, Thornton before the family moved to Haworth; the remains of the Church where Patrick preached, known as the Bell Chapel, can be seen in the restored old graveyard off Thornton Road opposite the current Church.

Famous People: The Brontë sisters, Anne, Emily and Charlotte.


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