Thornton village is within the civil parish of Bagworth and Thornton in Leicestershire. It is a linear village lying along a scarp overlooking Thornton Reservoir to the east and Bagworth Heath to the west.
The first historical notice of Thornton, otherwise called “Torinton” is that in the Domesday Book completed in 1085 AD. In it Thornton, or Torentum, comes under the manor of Bagworde (Bagworth).
Railway – The Leicester and Swannington railway line was one of the first in the country and was laid down by Robert Stephenson. From 1832 until 1871, Thornton was served partly by Merry Lees railway station, and the Stag and Castle Inn built in 1832 served as a station in Thornton Hollow, part way between Thornton and Bagworth until 1865.
On 4 May 1833 an accident occurred at Thornton Lane level crossing (now a bridge). The gates had been left open and a train ran into a horse and cart, the driver of which had not heard the engine driver’s bugle. The Company had to pay for a new horse and cart along with fifty pounds of butter and eighty dozen eggs. As a result of this accident George Stephenson, devised the steam whistle. It was constructed by a musical instrument maker in King Street, Leicester and it became standard equipment on most steam trains thereafter.
Thornton was originally a farming village but, with the coming of the collieries in Bagworth and the Coalville area, many miners lived in Thornton too. There was no colliery or mine workings in Thornton and it is understood that underground faults made any coal under Thornton unworkable.