The village is one of the few in the Peak with a name which clearly betrays Norse origins, the word Thorpe meaning farm in Scandanavian languages. Danish settlers did not generally penetrate far into the Peak District, apart from a few farmers bring their sheep to graze on the lush grass. Vikings started settling in the area around 800AD.

The village was mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 as land belonging to the King, as was nearby Broadlow Ash Farm. Other historical connections of the area include the local farms of Newton Grange, which was a farming settlement belonging to Combermere Abbey of Cheshire, and Hanson Grange which belonged to Burton-on-Trent monastery.

In 1245 ownership of Thorpe was handed over to Ralph de Hormanwell. Subsequently it passed into the possession of various notable local families, including the Cockaignes and the Millward's of Broadlaw Ash. In the middle of the 19th century Sir William Fitzherbert of Tissington bought the estate. He marked the occasion by planting a tree, a Wellingtonia, on the village green.

The village clusters around the beautiful St Leonard's church with its Norman tower, built about 1100 AD, and with suggestions of Saxon work here and there.

The oldest house in the village dates from the time of the English Civil War.

St Leonard's Church

St Leonard's Church




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