On the edge of
Dartmoor, in the village of Sourton, St Thomas a Becket is a 14th
Century church founded on an earlier settlement - going back before
970 when Aelfgyth was Chaplain and it was likely that there was a
simple church building on the site.
It was dedicated in
honour of St Thomas à Becket in the 14th Century by descendents of
two knights who had taken part in the murder of Thomas, Archbishop
of Canterbury, in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 - Fitz Urse and
William de Tracey, who were both Devon men.
It appears that
their successors may have wanted to clear their family names and
appease their consciences by rededicating the churches to the
Christian martyr. The church at Sourton - on a hillside site with
wonderful views from the churchyard - has undergone numerous
alterations over the centuries but remains a place of peace where
prayer can come easily.
church, to Tors akin, Grey without and calm within', in the
words of Rev A Hunter, vicar of Sourton 1953-1963.
Sourton Cross, recently re-sited,
dates from about the 6th century and carries lettering linking it to
a late Roman military leader.