Gap is a wind gap located in the Blue Ridge
Mountains in Virginia separating the Shenandoah Valley from the
Piedmont region of the state.
Thornton Gap was named for Francis Thornton (1711ľApril
14, 1749), owner of the land to the east and the "F.T. Valley". In
1740, he built a mansion in the Piedmont region near Nethers in
The privately-owned Thornton's Gap Turnpike Company was formed to
build a road over the mountains at Thornton's Gap. The toll road
opened in 1806.
Thornton Gap was one of the passages through the Blue Ridge
Mountains between the Shenandoah Valley and the Piedmont region of
Virginia used by Confederate General Stonewall Jackson to move his
famous "foot cavalry" troops during the American Civil War.
Prior to the building of the Shenandoah National Park and the
Skyline Drive by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA)
during the Great Depression, the lost town of Beahm was located at
Gap is the site of the mountain crossing of U.S. Highway 211. It
is located at the border of Page County and Rappahannock County.
At Thornton Gap, there is an entry point for the bucolic Skyline
Drive, which runs between Front Royal and the northern terminus
with the Blue Ridge Parkway at Rockfish Gap. The Skyline Drive
generally following the mountain ridge tops through the Shenandoah
National Park, which has its headquarters near Thornton Gap in the
Town of Luray. The Appalachian Trail also passes through Thornton