St James the Great



The "Mirror" trademark was registered by Knight Brothers, of London, in August 1905 and the company ceased trading in 1908. The "16/" cards so far identified are all of Bishops Stortford

16/1  Hockerill Church

16/10 Thorley Church

 16/11 Twyford Lock  (posted 1906)

16/14  The Trout Bridge on the River Stort

16/15  The Parsonage Farm

16/18  Parsonage Mill

Thorley Church, Bishops Stortford

The British Mirror Series 16/10


Thorley is due East of Much Hadham, by a circuitous route. The village, known as Thorley Street, lies by the main road between Sawbridgeworth and Bishops Stortford,  the parish church of St James occupies a sombre position at the end of a cul-de-sac road, but it can also be reached by footpath. Composed of dressed stone and flint rubble cemented over, on the South of the nave is a restored Norman doorway late 12th century, the nook shafts are twisted and the arch consists of two chevron moulded orders; apart from this doorway most of the building is Early English. The stairs to the Rood loft (in North wall) are in good repair and the door at the top is still intact; the font is Norman, of the plain sunk panel type so frequently met with in country churches, and on the outside of the tower by West doorway is the remains of a holy water stoup.

A Pilgrimage in Hertfordshire, 1931

Thorley Church

Mardon's Series (Bishop's Stortford)

image provided by Bill Hardy

Title: Thorley Church - Publisher: M&W Canon Series (Mitchell & Watkins)  - Date Probably pre WW1 (printed in Belgium)  

Thorley Church

Published in the Canon Series by Mitchell & Watkins, London The partnership was formed in 1904 and published many view postcards of London and its suburbs. The card probably dates from about 1906.

Thorley Church

FF & Co 44877

Francis Frith & Co card photographed in 1899

posted 8 May 1908

image provided by Bill Hardy



Thorley Church

by A Maxwell posted 1904


Web Site: St James the Great, Thorley - includes a good history of the church, and data base of memorials, and an excellent series of historical articles about the village "From the Archives" by Bill Hardy.

Web Site: The Friends of St James the Great contains a church guide, parish registers and churchyard memorials

Before 1850, Thorley's stocks and whipping-post used to be positioned in an open area known as the Village Pound. This was to the left of the gateway to Thorley Hall and immediately in front of the church lychgate. Their primary purpose was to detain and humiliate petty criminals and also those who had offended the churchwardens. Parishes were required to erect stocks by Act of Parliament in 1405 and some were still in occasional use in the mid 1800s. The addition of a whipping-post was instituted at the time of Elizabeth I. Amongst those who qualified for detention, and the subsequent humiliation, were petty thieves, drunkards, gamblers, wife beaters, hedge-tearers, strolling players and musicians and Sabbath-breakers.

In the 1850s, the Rector, Frederick Vander Meulen, had them removed from the Pound and placed in the churchyard by the ancient yew tree. In 1904 the church accounts record that they were renovated by Glasscocks & Sons at no expense to the churchwardens! This involved the structure being cleaned, treated with preservatives, a new upper bar provided and the post being spliced. They were then repositioned, behind railings, against the south wall of the churchyard where many present day parishioners remember them being a prominent feature.

In 1979 the rector, Sidney Robinson and Churchwardens entrusted the stocks and whipping-post to the safe keeping of the Bishop's Stortford Local History Society. They are now in on display the Bishop's Stortford Museum.

Text from the St James the Great web site - Photograph courtesy Bishop's Stortford Museum

See also Early Crime & Punishment

If you know of other books, websites, etc, relating to this place, please tell me.

February 2011   Page created
March 2014   Information on the Stocks