Grid Ref NY 327503
Thursby is a commuter village, lying on the old Roman road about 6 miles south of Carlisle.
Thursby takes its old name ‘Thor’s by’ from Thor, the Thunder God of the Saxons, whose temple was reputedly nearby at Kirksteads. The village skyline is dominated by St Andrew’s church, a Victorian building built in 1846, and funded by the Brisco family of Crofton Hall, is on the site of a previous church said to have been built by David I, King of Scotland.
Sir Thomas Bouch was a Thursby boy. He became a great civil engineer, responsible for building the tramway systems in many English cities. Alas, he is remembered for his one monumental failure – the first great Tay railway bridge which collapsed on 28th September 1878, plummeting a train into the river with the loss of all on board.
About a mile west of Thursby is the remains of Crofton Hall Estate. Dating from the early 13th century, the estate once covered 3000 acres, and was where the Brisco family resided until the 1930s. Although the estate is no longer intact and the main house was demolished, the lake, walled garden, woodland, Georgian style stable block, and agricultural land remain.
On the estate is the Thornby Moor Dairy, started in 1979 by Carolyn Fairbairn. Local shorthorn cows provide milk for unpasteurized cheese. Goats’ cheese is another of their products, which visitors can purchase in the shop after viewing the cheese being made. Crofton Lake is fished by local angling enthusiasts.
Aerial photos by Simon Ledingham.
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