While it is a logical enough assumption that Thorn Park dates, like the fine houses that surround it, from the mid-late nineteenth century, the name itself is, in fact, one of the oldest in the area. Indeed our first reference dates from the 1439 Act of Incorporation when we read of Thornhilpark and Thorne hylle pke in another fifteenth century document.
The use of the old English word “thorn”, as in thorn-bush, is quite common in old English place names, both as a prefix and a suffix (e.g. Thornaby, Thornbrough, Thorngrafton and Clapthorn), although not particularly typically in Devon. Although the local example undoubtedly derives from the presence in this area of one or more prominent thorn bushes either at that time or sometime previously, the tranquil Thorn Park these days is characterised more by a wide variety of trees, bushes and flowering plants.