Thornaby Church sits in the middle of the green at Thornaby, surrounded by earthworks produced by centuries of use of the area. The medieval village of Thornaby surrounded the green, but has been replaced by more modern buildings. Thornaby sits high above the River Tees, but was reached by medieval shipping and was designated as a port in the medieval period.
The church of St Peter ad Vincula (St Peter in Chains – referring to the imprisonment of St Peter in Jerusalem) is a typical small Norman church, although it has lost its chancel which had been demolished by 1800 AD. The interior contains some interesting examples of 12th century carving including a depiction of a man fighting a sea monster.