Thornhill sits astride the A873 as it picks its way along the north edge of the upper Forth Valley en route from Stirling to Aberfoyle. To its south-west is Flanders Moss: the largest remaining area of lowland bog in Britain.
The village was founded in the aftermath of the 1745 Rebellion to house displaced highlanders. Its layout is simple, a single main street running downhill from west to east from a crossroads at its western end to the parish church at the eastern end. In more recent times the village has tended to spread west and uphill a little, but the main street retains much of the confined, slightly austere, feel it must have had when Thornhill was first laid out.
Thornhill was served by a post office from the early 1800s, but was always overlooked by the railway network and never had any large scale industries. Today one of its most striking features is Norrieston Parish Church at the east end of the village. The parish name comes from the much earlier village of Norrieston, which lay a little to the east of Thornhill.
The church was built in 1878-9. This was very probably built on the site of an earlier church or series of earlier churches and the graveyard remains home to a number of early gravestones.
The other end of the village is marked by the tower of the Blairhoyle Masonic Hall. The hall overlooks the crossroads and was built in 1893: and is said to be the smallest purpose built masonic lodge in Scotland.
Thornhill is home to some very attractive pubs. The Crown Hotel can be found in the centre of the village, while nearer the church, the Lion and Unicorn predates the village, starting life as a drovers' inn possibly as early as 1635.
The name comes from the decorative inserts on the front wall of the building, though in an earlier life it was known as the Commercial Hotel.