All about us

Thornton Brothers Funeral Directors was first formed in 1899 by three members of the Thornton family who were trading mainly as wheelwrights in the village of Sherburn in Elmet just outside Leeds, a village of approximately 2000 people.

At this time, many of the villages in the area had their own Funeral Director so most of the business was as a wheelwright, but gradually over time Thornton Brothers began to build a reputation for a professional and caring service as an undertaker.

“With the increased popularity of motor vehicles the business diversified into motor repairs, and later adding a small petrol station in the late 1950’s.”

At this time, Thornton Brothers came into the hands of just one of the brothers, John, who had two sons. Both sons were brought into the business at an early age to learn their father’s trade, Ian as a mechanic and Alan as a joiner.

Thornton Brothers were able to buy their own fleet of vehicles brought on by the success of the business and in the early 1990’s built their own premises on the site of the former wheelwrights.

After their father retired Ian and Alan managed the Thornton Brothers garage and the Funeral Directors until 2001 when, following Alan’s retirement, the business and property were sold.

Today the business serves the local community and villages within a 20 to 30 mile radius.